Politician becomes first ever female minister in France to come out as gay

Sarah El Haïry posing for a photo.

A politician in France has become the first female minister to come out as gay in the country after revealing her sexuality in an interview.

Democratic Movement politician and youngest serving minister Sarah El Haïry revealed that she is queer and is currently dating someone.

The 33-year-old state secretary for youth at the Ministry of National Education casually mentioned her partner while discussing whether she uses Twitter.

In the interview with Forbes, she responded to the question by saying that she only ever reads Twitter when it affects her family or her girlfriend.

The casual mention of her partner cemented El Haïry in the history books, becoming the first female minister in France to identify as queer.

Since being appointed youth secretary of state, the country’s youngest government minister has been outspoken regarding both women’s and LGBTQ+ rights.

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She has previously called out discrimination against LGBTQ+ groups in France, saying that promoting LGBTQ+ rights is a “daily fight”.

El Haïry’s announcement, which Forbes described as “discreet”, came shortly after a similar reveal from former National Assembly of France member Olivier Dussopt.

In an interview with French magazine Têtu on 24 March, Dussopt said that his sexuality was “neither a secret, nor a subject” while condemning homophobic attacks in France.

“Being homosexual is never neutral,” he said during the interview. “But one has the right to defend causes, to militate, to participate in the debate without making one’s personal situation a political element in itself.”

He added that, while this was his first time coming out, he has been outspoken for same-sex marriage and LGBTQ+ autonomy in the past.

Despite the country’s current government being supportive of LGBTQ+ rights, the rise of the far-right in France following 2022’s presidential election has caused concern.

Emmanual Macron defeated far-right rival Marine Le Pen in the 2022 presidential race, gaining a slim 58 per cent of the vote compared to Le Pen’s 41.46 per cent.

The win saw LGBTQ+ people in France spared from what would have been a dire scenario for queer rights.

Despite this, anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment is still an issue in Macron’s France, with homophobic attacks still worryingly prevalent and Le Monde reporting a 27.6 per cent increase in reports of offences committed ‘because of sexual orientation or gender identity’ in 2021, compared to 2020.

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