Australia elects world's first intersex mayor

After being elected the mayor of the city of Hobsons Bay, Tony Briffa, an Australian independent councillor, recently became the world's first openly intersex mayor. Briffa won the position after serving two terms as Deputy Mayor since being elected to the city council of Hobsons Bay, a suburb of Melbourne, in 2008. "I am excited about the future of our community and look forward to serving the city with enthusiasm and pride," he says.

Briffa was diagnosed with Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (AIS) shortly after his birth, resulting in his being born with both male and female physical attributes. Despite the fact that he was genetically male, doctors decided to assign him the female gender, and he lived as "Antoinette" until he was told of his condition years later. He attended a girls college and married his first boyfriend until he decided to come out as intersex; although he uses male pronouns, he currently identifies as neither male nor female.

 "I am grateful for the years I lived as a woman and the insight and experiences it gave me," he says. "I am still 'Antoinette' and have now also incorporated and accepted my male ('Anthony' or 'Tony') side. I feel whole."

An LGTBI Health Alliance board member, Gina Wilson, says that Briffa's election will hopefully mark an impending shift in cultural attitudes toward intersex people, calling him "an inspiration and a role model for a whole generation." "We share Tony's hope that his election will break down taboos associated with intersex differences," she says. Yay!!!!

 

Commentarium (20 Comments)

Dec 10 11 - 7:17pm
Now you

can be both? How about neither? Is that an option? And why do they all look like Chastity Bono? Ewwwwww. You can cut your tits off, but you were born a girl, and you're still a girl.

Dec 10 11 - 7:59pm
Sarita

irrelevant transphobic comment anyone?

Dec 10 11 - 8:27pm
1st Amendment

Free to an opinion anyone ?

Dec 10 11 - 8:54pm
ABC

Sarita didn't say that Now you isn't entitled to an opinion. She was just reacting to his comment and expressing her opinion.

Dec 10 11 - 9:05pm
pars

But lots of people aren't born as a straightforward male or female. There's this fellow, with androgen insensitivity, and there are hermaphrodites, and people born without genitalia and then there's the chromosome issues, XXX, XXY, XYY. If you can only think in 2 categories, your erasing a lot of diversity that exists in the world.

Dec 10 11 - 9:19pm
But this

is neither. A mayor called "it".

Dec 11 11 - 1:38am
nope

This person who writes the first two words of their comment as their name has revealed themselves to be a troll within the past week or so.

This person isn't even trans, they're intersex. He wasn't born a girl, he was born intersex. I'm sorry reality doesn't do what you want it to do all of the time.

Dec 11 11 - 2:06am
The same

also applies to you, does it not? Let's see how many different titles we can create to describe somebody's chosen lifestyle and pretend that it's the natural order of things. You are one gender or another.

Dec 11 11 - 3:58am
nope

No, it does not. AIS is not a lifestyle. Your argument might have a certain coherence if we were discussing a trans person, even though I would still disagree with you. As we are discussing an intersex person -- someone who is genetically male and uses male pronouns but has obviously identifiable female characteristics -- your argument that this is a girl who is choosing to be a man makes even less sense.

It is also interesting that you choose to identify someone who is genetically male (an XY chromosome bearer) as a woman. Sounds almost like an alternative or trans gender identity to me.

Dec 13 11 - 12:24am
The same

bigot is Now you, conservatroll.

Dec 13 11 - 3:51pm
The same

is actually me. I use lots of different names so I can troll myself. It makes me feel special. I will list all of my names here shortly so I will know who to accuse of trolling me while I troll.

Dec 14 11 - 12:29am
Yeah

That was really convincing, conservatroll. Try harder...

Dec 14 11 - 4:24am
Yeah

This is me trying harder. It's hard. Has everyone met my imaginary obsession, conservatroll? You will know when he is around because my comments are the only place you will find him. Hint: he is really me, but don't tell because if he goes away, I can't troll him/me.

Dec 10 11 - 8:28pm
Baby Jesus

*Face palm*

Dec 11 11 - 3:30am
kudzu

Chicks with dicks, or tits with dicks. That's fucked up.

Dec 11 11 - 5:08am
Rubix

Does the fact intersex people exist even effect you in any way? No? Live and let live.

Dec 11 11 - 8:51am
Simon 1234

Oh.
Wanna find a casual encounter, ___CasualLoving dot com__ is a good place. Best wishes.

Dec 11 11 - 9:39am
Rubix

Kind of a strange thing to write, but thanks for the great tip, Simon1234! And best wishes to you too, friend!

Dec 11 11 - 4:38pm
jparkes

If he/she could fix our economy i'd vote for him...i don't care what gender or plumbing he chooses.

Dec 28 11 - 8:57pm
Tobe

Reading these comments is really sad. It saddens me that people think like this..that people don't even take the time to learn the truth about trans and intersex people. There is so much blind ignorance in the world, sometimes I can't believe it.