The World's 1st Nonbinary Mayor Has Taken Office in Wales
At age 23, Owen Hurcum is also the youngest mayor in the history of Wales. The nonbinary politician was elected mayor by the city council this week.
Owen Hurcum has served on the Bangor City Council for five years, and has been the deputy mayor for the past year.
"When I came out two years ago I was so worried I'd be ostracized by my community or worse," Hurcum wrote on Twitter this week. "Today my community elected me Mayor of our great City. The youngest ever Mayor in Wales."
Hurcum, who is genderqueer or agender, said coming out has been inspiring and difficult.
"It has been difficult and it does get disheartening but strangely, not that it is ever OK, I have almost become used to it in a way," the new mayor told BBC Wales.
"The council has been fantastic," Hurcum said. "There was a trepidation because, obviously, local government has this unfair reputation of possibly being old and backwards, and I was worried that those views may come from fellow councilors.
"But I have had the exact opposite. Every single councilor has been extremely supportive, and the previous mayor has called me when he has seen that I have been getting hate online, and he has said he is there if I need him. It has been really nice," Hurcum said.
After moving to Bangor to attend college, Hurcum entered political life to embrace change and unity.
"I came here as a student five years ago, just because it was a place to study and it looked quite nice," Hurcum told North Wales Live. "Within a week, I fell in love with it and tried to throw myself into the city's culture."
First on the agenda as mayor will be creating environmental and business opportunities, Hurcum said.
"I really want to work on bringing more funds to improve the high street, push for more green spaces and promote the interconnected communities between the university and the city itself," Hurcum said.
"It's about representing Bangor and trying to sell it as a destination."
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