Update: Poland’s first trans MP officially nominated for deputy speaker job in Parliament

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Poland’s first trans MP has been nominated to fill the position of deputy speaker in the country’s parliament.

Following a general election, in November 2011, 57-year-old Anna Grodzka was sworn in as an MP for Krakow. A member of the Palikot Party, she said she wanted to make the Catholic country more accepting. 

Now with the official backing of her party, the third-biggest in Poland, and her party leader, Janusz Palikot, Ms Grodzka may become one of Poland’s deputy parliamentary speakers in the 460-member lower house.

“I’ve been a member of parliament for over a year now and this experience is enough, I think,” Grodzka said. “It’s important what one represents. If there are voices against me, they are voices that are heading into the past.”

Mr Palikot previously told TVN24: “It’s not an official candidacy right now. We don’t have one yet … But from an ideological standpoint, it would be a good choice,” but her party’s backing has now been confirmed, Wyborcza.pl reports.

Ms Grodzka will visit Dublin this month to attend the first national conference addressing poverty, social exclusion and multiple disadvantage amongst LGBT people.

Her party said it would be announced today if it was to officially back her for the position.

Some critics have come out already to say they think she lacks political experience, and that

“This person has very little political experience to be carrying out such a role,” Joachim Brudzinski, a senior Law and Justice lawmaker, told Reuters.

Krystyna Pawlowicz, another Law and Justice member of parliament commented on Ms Grodzka’s gender reassignment.

Pawlowicz said she had a “boxers face”, and went on to say: “Ms. Grodzka, it’s not like when you stuff yourself full of hormones you become a woman. The genetic code decides this. Let’s do a blood test. Nothing will change that, no operation.”

Historically a Catholic country, Poland has been divided in the past over LGBT rights issues.

According to a poll released earlier this month, support for equal marriage in the country has doubled since 2003, but still remains low.

The poll by TNS Polska indicated that in 2003, 8% of Polish people supported marriage equality, which had risen to 16% in 2012.

Back in September 2012, Poland’s ruling centre-right party, Platforma Obywatelska (PO), announced that it would introduce legislation allowing gay couples to have civil unions.

It was seen as a step forward for gay rights in the Eastern European country – although it falls far short of marriage equality, and the measure was facing stiff opposition from social conservatives.

A study in Poland showed there were 992 new HIV infections reported in the country in 2011, and that two thirds of those who tested positive for the virus were in the gay community.

In December, a court in western Poland has ordered the Danish-owned supermarket chain Netto to pay a gay former employee damages after he was called a “faggot” by a manager.