Trans mayor and mayoress take office in Cambridge
A woman who has transitioned sex has been elected to the largely ceremonial role of Mayor of Cambridge.
Jenny Bailey, 45, is a Liberal Democrat councillor.
She chose her partner Jennifer Liddle, 49, who also underwent gender reassignment surgery, to serve as Mayoress.
The couple have both served as councillors on Cambridge City Council.
Ms Bailey is the first transgender mayor in the UK. She took up office today.
She has served continuously on the Council since 2002 when she was elected to represent East Chesterton ward.
She was appointed Executive Councillor for Planning and Transportation in 2004, a post she held until May 2006 when she became Deputy Mayor.
Her career background is in radio engineering and she worked for Pye Telecom which later became part of Philips.
She has subsequently worked as a telecommunications engineer for a number of companies many of which have been based in Cambridge.
She was proposed as Mayor at the annual meeting by her fellow ward councillor, Cllr Marian Holness.
The nomination was be seconded by Cllr Lewis Herbert, Leader of the Labour Group.
Jenny said: “I entered local politics because I believe in public service and because I wanted to make a contribution to the wonderful city we live in.
“I am honoured that my fellow councillors have now chosen me to be Mayor.
“I want my mayoral year to be about celebrating the unsung heroes of our city. There are many of them.”
Cllr Ian Nimmo-Smith, Leader of Cambridge City Council, said: “I am looking forward to supporting Jenny as she takes the leading role in Cambridge’s civic life for the coming year.
“Jenny has fulfilled the role of Deputy Mayor in the past year with great distinction and we already know that she will make a really great Mayor.”
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“So many more things define me than being transgender, a medical condition I had 15 years ago which I have now recovered from,” she told the Daily Mail.
“I’m proud that I managed to get through something which was quite difficult and managed to come out of it a better person.
“I certainly do not want it to eclipse being mayor.”
She had previously been married and had two sons, now aged 18 and 20.
Her sons share a home with her and Ms Liddle, who stood down from the council at the elections earlier this month.
Her former wife spoke of her pride at Ms Bailey’s election:
“She is a totally selfless person who wants to help others and make a positive impact on the community,” she told the Mail.
“I think she will make an excellent mayor.”