It is a fact, the townhall of Tilloy-Lez-Marchienne has never been requested. For several weeks, the emails, the calls, cards of congratulations, or the visits of journalists are part of the daily life of this village of 530 inhabitants. The one who is the object of all attentions, it is Mary, Cau, 55 years old, elected as the new mayor of the village on the 23rd of may 2020.
I was expecting a small buzz at the local or regional, but not international
“I was very surprised. We are a small village and it is a small election, but in the end we are interested in all the media around the world. We speak of Tilloy-Lez-Marchienne on the entire planet, it is incredible. I was expecting a small buzz at the local or regional, but not international. It is pleasant, because it is always benevolent, there is a form of curiosity and it is perceived for many people as a glimmer of hope. You can be mayor and LGBT”, she says, sitting in his new office.
Of Nicolas to Mary
If the media around the world are interested in its history, it is that Mary was called Nicholas before. Born in 1965 in Roubaix, Marie Cau dressed as a girl from the age of 2 years, but it is only around the age of 40, she decided to take the plunge and commit themselves totally. “The transidentité this is not a choice. I have not chosen one day to be like that. It is since his birth, and after it is assumed or not assumed. One protects oneself, one is careful, one has a life inconspicuous, but in any case it is a choice. One chooses to live or hide it is all. The choice is there”.
With this election, Mary Cau has made the choice not to hide. This mother of three children, combines his position as mayor with a function of a consultant in organization and management of data processing that it carries out in Belgium. She hoped that his case helps to trivialize the transidentité in the public service. And Even if it has not yet changed marital status, it intends to do so in the future to avoid the trouble of the administration.
This should be normal
“Looking at forums and the international press, I noticed two analyses. The first is a non-event. People wonder why one is interested in this, it should be normal. The second analysis highlights the exceptional nature of my election. The fact of being LGBT, having a normal life and be elected on one programme and not on the person. The two interpretations are the same, but from our point of view tillotins, this should have been a non-event”.
70% of the vote
Next to the town hall is the primary school “Bernard Hinault” (the name of the famous French cyclist, editor’s note) of Tilloy. Its director, Jacques Coget, is not surprised at the outcome of the polls “She is very brave to be assertive as she is. It has been 20 years that I am the director here and I taught my students moral values and human will in the sense of tolerance, acceptance of others and difference. I think we had the result at the ballot box, because a lot of my students are of voting age today !”exclaimed it.
“For a long time, we had a mayor, very conservative. For us, it is mainly a change to have someone new at the head of the village. You’re more interested in this aspect, as on the image. It is very superficial for us”, Clementine, the twenties, was not expecting such a buzz for his village. “It is a bit in the air. People want to talk environment, economy of sharing and of solidarity. It is necessary to reconcile that with the rural environment and agriculture in which the people are attached“details Marie Cau.
Sometimes, I spent two hours talking with people
During the municipal elections of may 15, 2020, the list of “Deciding together” by Mary Cau has gained more than 63.5% of the votes in the first round. Then, the municipal council on 23 may to elect the new mayor unanimously, less one (14 votes in favor and 1 absent). His election put an end to the reign of Jean-Luc Bot, as mayor for twenty years with a program of modern and eco-friendly. “Our speech is to preserve our distinctive rural with more respect for the environment. At the economic level, it also wants to develop short circuits and make the economy middle. This programme has brought together Tillotins around a project“.
First transgender person elected to this position in France, Marie Cau had no doubts about the chances of his team to win. “I was not surprised, because we did a job of door-to-door with my team. Sometimes, I spent two hours talking with residents. I had good assurance of good returns. I had mostly a small concern vis-à-vis my person, because the specificity of the small villages, is that you can cross out the names. Finally, I have not been crossed out more than the other“she said, laughing.
Two examples of belgian
In Belgium, this election has not gone unnoticed either. At the political level, north side, our country has already mep Petra De Sutter (Groen) as the transgender representative. South side, Philippine Dhanis had tried, without success, to become the first mp and transgender community in the French-speaking Belgium under the banner of MR.
“As a trans person, his election is very positive. This is an example of by his career, but also because she has been elected. I doubt that they had voted for her because she is trans, but rather for his skills. The more we will be accepted and considered as normal people and less as curiosities, I think we will have made a big step. His election is really a very positive signal”.