Transsexual poised for seat in Poland's new parliament
Anna Grodzka, 57, could become the first transsexual to sit in Poland's parliament after a new anti-clerical party stormed the parliamentary election scoring an unprecedented third spot finish.
Born as a man, Ms Grodzka, now 57, completed her sex change last year with the help of the Trans-Fuzja organisation focused on gender change.
Topping the Palikot Movement party list in the devoutly Catholic southern city of Krakow - once home to the late Polish-born pope John Paul II - Ms Grodzka was thrilled by Sunday's strong showing at the polls.
"I'm not yet sure if I've been elected, but I'm very happy with the result scored by the Palikot movement," she said at a jubilant election night celebration at Palikot Movement headquarters in Warsaw.
"If I'll be elected in Krakow, I'll be Poland's first transsexual, and the only transsexual MP not only in Poland, but the entire world," she said. "In New Zealand, there was Georgina Beyer, but she is no longer an MP since 2007," Ms Grodzka added.
"Today, Poland is changing. I am the proof along with Robert Biedron, a homosexual and the head of an anti-homophobia campaign who ran for office in Gdynia," a city on Poland's Baltic coast.
Dressed in a white shirt, a black skirt and ballerina flats, Ms Grodzka was overcome with emotion.
"I'm a leftist. For years I voted for the SLD (social democrats) until they corresponded to my ideals. But they failed in the area of moral values," she said.
Challenging Poland's powerful Roman Catholic Church and led by tycoon-provocateur Janusz Palikot, the Palikot Movement made a surprise breakthrough in its electoral debut Sunday - soaring to a third spot finish.
Advocating liberalising Poland's restrictive abortion law, free access to contraception and legalising soft drugs and gay marriage among others, it scored 10.1 per cent in a TSN/OBOP exit poll with a 1.5 per cent margin of error.