'First Ever' Openly Nonbinary Mayor Elected by Wales Town

On Monday, a small town in Wales made history when nonbinary candidate Owen J Hurcum won the city's mayoral election. Hurcum is believed to be the first nonbinary person to hold the mayoral title possibly in the world, giving the otherwise-local election a global significance.

According to LGBTQ Nation, 23-year-old Owen J Hurcum was elected to the position earlier this week by their town of Bangor, Wales, home to over 16,000 residents. Hurcum, who is agender and genderqueer, announced their win in a Monday Twitter post.

"When I came out two years ago I was so worried I'd be ostracized by my community or worse," they wrote. "Today my community elected me Mayor of our great City. The youngest ever Mayor in Wales. The first-ever openly Non-Binary Mayor of any city anywhere. Beyond humbled, Diolch Bangor."

'Diolch' means 'thank you' in Welsh.

When I came out two years ago I was so worried I'd be ostracized by my community or worse. Today my community elected me Mayor of our great City. The youngest ever Mayor in Wales. The first ever openly Non-Binary Mayor of any city anywhere. Beyond humbled, Diolch Bangor 🏳️‍🌈 pic.twitter.com/pGHiaQTVaO

— Mayor Owen J Hurcum 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿🏳️‍⚧️🏳️‍🌈🇪🇺 (@OwenJHurcum) May 10, 2021

Another tweet emphasized important aspects of their platform: "I'll be wanting to use my term to promote Bangor as much as I can," they wrote, "bring in investment and interest and celebrate the multicultural community that makes [our] city the greatness that it is."

The green-haired mayor posted a follow-up the next day, thanking everyone for the kind messages.

"I know representation is not just putting on the chain," they wrote, adding that they'll "be judged by what we do as a team for Bangor during my year in office."

"But still," they said, "[I'm] glad my election has resonated with so many."

The mayoral role is not Hurcum's first brush with politics. LGBTQ Nation reports that the recent college graduate was elected deputy mayor last year. Before that, they spent four years on their town council, a role which they first ran for as a student.

Additionally, in March, Hurcum reportedly stepped down from running for Welsh Parliament with the Plaid Cymru party after the party was accused of transphobia.

On social media, people around the world are sharing their support for Hurcum's election.

"Incredible news. They'll make a great mayor. Well done, Bangor!" wrote one Twitter user.

"What a tweet!! I want to live in Bangor! Wonderful," echoed another.

In addition to being the first nonbinary mayor, The Bangor Aye, a local news outlet, wrote on Facebook that they're also the youngest mayor the city has ever seen.

Hurcum says they hope to use their platform to highlight all that makes the city of Bangor great. "Whilst the Mayoral office is heavily ceremonial in nature," they wrote, "it's good to be able to use it to talk about how great Bangor is as a city, because genuinely there is nowhere I'd rather be."

Bangor Mayor Owen J Hurcum
The newly-elected mayor of Bangor, Wales, Owen J Hurcum. Owen J Hurcum/Twitter