In a groundbreaking moment for Swedish politics, the country’s first-ever female Prime Minister has appointed a female-majority government, including the country’s first Trans minister, Lina Axelsson Kihlblom.
Magdalena Andersson was elected to the office of Prime Minister for the second time on Monday. Her election comes following a turbulent start to her first appointment last week when she was forced to resign just seven hours after taking office, following a dispute over budget concerns.
Yesterday Anderson announced her new female-led cabinet, which is made up of members of her Social Democratic party. Amongst the appointments, Axelsson Kihlblom, the country’s first Trans minister, has been given the role of Education Minister.
Congratulating Lina Axelsson Kihlblom for being appointed as #Sweden’s new Minister of Education – the first #trans person to be become a minister in the country and a significant step towards political representation in Europe! https://t.co/oM2JEox8xr pic.twitter.com/oY6DPKAGpz
— ILGA-Europe (@ILGAEurope) November 30, 2021
The move appears to follow a growing trend of recognising Trans politicians within other European countries led by left-wing governments. Last year Belgium made history by appointing Petra De Sutter as Deputy Prime Minister and in September of this year, Germany elected two Trans women to the Bundestag.
In an interview on Swedish Public Radio, following her appointment, Axelsson Kihlblom, 51, said, “This is not a big deal, although it is important to me and many others who are experiencing the same issues… If I, in any small way, can be a role model or a trailblazer I am happy about that.”
The former school principal and mother-of-two came out publicly as Trans back in 2015 with the publication of her autobiography, Kommer du tycka om mig nu? (Will You Love Me Now?).
In the book, she recalled how she knew she was Trans from a very young age, although she did not undergo gender-reaffirming surgery until she was in her mid-twenties.
According to Pink News, she disclosed in an interview on a Swedish talk show, Skavlan, how she was legally forced to undergo sterilisation before she would be allowed to gain legal recognition.
“I had to undergo an operation where the state ensured that none of my unique gene set would ever be reproduced… I remember that there were tears but did not know if it was tears of pain or because I was so enormously humiliated.” The barbaric legislation was since overturned in 2013.
In another interview with public broadcaster SVT, she recalled, “I discovered early on that in order to be accepted I had to choose to live on life on the outside and another on the inside… I played a game to be accepted, but I knew that one day I would blossom, and that was my salvation.”
Sweden: Lina Axelsson Kihlblom is new minister for higher education and research. She's Sweden's first transgender minister.
Photo TT news agency #lgbtq https://t.co/Xy2OTmHP6d pic.twitter.com/Hkg7mxJtX2
— Nordic News (@Nordic_News) November 30, 2021
Axelsson-Kihlbom gained popularity following a documentary series in which she brought a failing school, in one of Sweden’s most deprived areas, back from the brink of closure.
Pink News reports that one of Anderson’s campaign platforms is to reform Sweden’s highly-privatised school system. As a member of Sweden’s School Commission since 2015, Axelsson-Kihlbom is perfectly poised to realise this agenda, stating, “Society needs to take control over schools. Every student’s right to knowledge must be in focus, and not share price movements or religious beliefs.”
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