Bündnis 90/Die Grünen candidate Tessa Ganserer, currently a member of the Landtag of Bavaria (bicameral legislature) has a good shot at being the first transgender politician to win a seat in the Bundestag (Federal Legislature) and becoming the highest elected official in Germany.
Her potential success during the September election comes with one devastating caveat, her (maiden name) or deadname must appear on the Greens ballot.
Ganserer famously came out as a transgender woman in 2018, becoming the first transgender person in a German state or federal parliament. And Sterilization as a requirement for gender and name updates was ruled unconstitutional in 2011.
However, changing gender markers on official documents remains an invasive and bureaucratic time-consuming mess, something Tessa Ganserer refuses to submit to.
Ganserer herself considers the use of her maiden name to be discriminatory. The transsexual law, on which the regulation is based, is unconstitutional, a change or amendment has been delayed for ten years, she complained on Friday in an interview with the German press agency. According to the current law, she would have to undergo a lengthy and expensive appraisal process, which she finds degrading, in order to change her name and gender before the law. A corresponding lawsuit is pending at the Nuremberg Local Court. In her case, Ganserer considers such a procedure to be obsolete.
“That kind of hypocritical show of tolerance just stinks,” she tells Reuters, referring to the Conservative lawmakers she accuses of blocking pro-LGBT+ reforms in Berlin’s Bundestag while happily draping themselves in the rainbow flag outside it.
Ganserer, 44, hopes to be able to take her fight to the floor of the lower parliamentary house from September, when she will stand for the Greens party in a federal election.
In her crosshairs is the Transgender Act of 1981, parts of which, Germany’s top court has ruled on six occasions, are unconstitutional, but which the federal government’s ruling parties have been at odds over how to revamp.
The last parliamentary vote to reform it, in May, was rejected by 454 votes against and 118 in favour.
“So far, nothing has happened and that’s why I am running for the Bundestag, so that transgender people can finally raise a voice in the place where the legislative decisions on this degrading transsexual law are made,” Ganserer said.
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