What is believed to be the world’s first intersex mayor has been elected in Australia.
Councillor Tony Briffa won in the City of Hobsons Bay in the suburbs of Melbourne at the end of November.
Briffa is an independent Councillor whose focus has been on representing his community, community diversity and environmental issues.
“I am excited about the future of our community and look forward to serving the city with enthusiasm and pride,” Briffa said following his election.
LGBTI Health Alliance Board Member Gina Wilson says Briffa is inspiring.
“Tony is an inspiration and a role model for a whole generation of intersex people, both those who have suffered early interventions and those who have come to their differences later in life,” Wilson said.
“We share Tony’s hope that his election will break down taboos associated with intersex differences. Tony is a wonderful example of how intersex people can overcome the devastating and unnecessary medical treatment meted out to so many intersex children, and go on to become champions of human rights and cultural diversity for everyone.”
An intersex person may have biological characteristics of both the male and the female sexes. Some people (whether physically intersex or not) do not identify themselves as either exclusively female or exclusively male.
Briffa has publicly spoken on TV about his genetic intersex condition, but is referred to as ‘he.’
He was raised as a girl and was not told the truth about his condition until years later.
“Years later I feel very comfortable having accepted my true nature. I am not male or female, but both,” he writes on his website.
“I am still Antoinette and have now also incorporated and accepted my male (Anthony or Tony) side. I feel whole.”
Image source Tony Briffa