First Transgender Woman to Run for Office in Romanian Elections

Thirty-year-old Roma sex worker Antonella Lerca will be the first-ever transgender person to run for public office in Romania when she competes in September’s local elections.

Antonella Lerca, a transgender woman of Roma origin who is a sex worker, launched her campaign on Monday to run as an independent candidate for Bucharest’s District 2 in the local elections on September 27, she told British LGBT news website Pink News.

“I’d had enough of rich white privileged men making decisions for vulnerable communities in Romania,” 30-year-old Lerca said.

She was referring to “the Roma community, transgender community and sex worker community”, to which she belongs.

Lerca, who is the first-ever transgender person to run for public office in Romania, regretted the absence of LGBT faces in Romanian politics, and said she will rely on her eight-year experience as a human rights activist supporting “vulnerable communities” to mobilise voters and effect change in Bucharest’s Sector 2.

According to her website, Lerca will run on the platform with three priorities: social protection and public services, women’s rights and fighting discrimination, and making the city more environmentally-friendly. She promises “funding and investments for social housing and capping rents”.

Lerca’s debut into politics comes after the Romanian parliament in June adopted a ban on “propagating theories and opinions on gender identity according to which gender is a separate concept from biological sex”.

The law was met with a backlash in civil society and academic circles, with many denouncing it as an attack on freedom of expression and political interference in education.

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis has refused to promulgate the law, which he has said amounts to “censorship”, and has sought to get it annulled by the Constitutional Court.

by Marcel Gascón Barberá – Bucharest
Source – Balkan Insight