UK

First non-binary mayor ‘of any city, anywhere’ hailed an ‘example to all’ after winning election aged 22

Lily Wakefield May 12, 2021
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Owen J Hurcum, the new non-binary mayor of Bangor, Wales.

Owen J Hurcum, the new non-binary mayor of Bangor, Wales. (Twitter/ OwenJHurcum and Facebook/ The Bangor Aye)

Owen J Hurcum, 22, has been elected mayor of Bangor, Wales, making them the “first ever openly non-binary mayor of any city anywhere”.

Hurcum was unanimously elected as mayor, having worked as deputy mayor for the last year and a councillor for four years. They also become the youngest-ever mayor in Wales.

The new mayor, who identifies as genderqueer, agender and non-binary, posted a photo to Twitter of themselves wearing traditional mayoral chains, a tricorne hat and a sheer black top.

Hurcum wrote: “When I came out two years ago I was so worried I’d be ostracised by my community or worse.

“Today my community elected me mayor of our great city. The youngest ever mayor in Wales. The first ever openly non-binary mayor of any city anywhere.

“Beyond humbled, Diolch Bangor.”

They added: “I’ll be wanting to use my term to promote Bangor as much as I can, bring in investment and interest and celebrate the multicultural community that makes our city the greatness that it is.”

Love and support rolled in for Bangor’s new mayor, describing them as “a trailblazer and example to all”, with many saying they were moved to tears by the news.

Responding to the congratulations, alongside a photo of them in an incredible t-shirt that read “they/ them/ the mayor”, Hurcum wrote: “I just want to say a huge diolch to all the lovely messages that are still coming in.

“I know representation is not just putting on the chain and I’ll be judged by what we do as a team for Bangor during my year in office, but still, I’m glad my election has resonated with so many.”

Earlier this year, Hurcum stepped down as a Plaid Cymru candidate for the Welsh Parliament elections, insisting that the party “platforms transphobia”.

Referencing Plaid Cymru politician Helen Mary Jones, a Senedd member at the time and a “gender-critical feminist” who tweeted that she is “concerned, like many people including trans people, about the possible impacts of the proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act and the rights of women and girls”, Hurcum said they could not “in good conscience stand as a candidate for Plaid whilst they continue to platform a candidate who has promoted, and continues to promote, transphobia”.

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