• Vice-prime minister and minister of Civil Services and State-owned companies Petra De Sutter. (AFP)Source: AFP
"I am proud that in Belgium and most of Europe your gender identity does not define you as a person and is a non-issue."
SBS staff writers

6 Oct 2020 - 3:01 PM  UPDATED 6 Oct 2020 - 5:22 PM

Belgian politician Petra de Sutter, who became Belgium’s first openly trans MP back in 2014, has been sworn in as the country's Deputy Prime Minister.

The Green MP, who is a Professor, Gynaecologist and well-known activist for reproductive health and trans rights, also accepted the role of minister for public administration and public enterprises. And, while she's now believed to be the highest ranking trans politician in the world, Belgians don't seem all too fussed - a sure sign of local progress.

Belgian Green party leader Meyrem Almaci announced De Sutter’s appointment last week.

“Incredibly grateful for the confidence I have received from my party!” De Sutter wrote on Twitter.

“Last night I gave the green light for the new government with 1,000 other members, now I can do whatever it takes to relaunch our country and work on a new future for all Belgians together with that government!”

In a later tweet, the MP wrote: "I am proud that in Belgium and most of Europe your gender identity does not define you as a person and is a non-issue."

She added: "I hope that my appointment as Minister and deputy PM can trigger the debate in countries where this is not yet the case."

The 57-year-old was met with overwhelming support from both local and international colleagues, including German MP Terry Reintke, who tweeted: "I am raising my glass to my wonderful colleague Petra de Sutter tonight."

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