Wednesday, February 04, 2009

LGBT History Month - Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir

Today's LGBT History Month personality is the new prime minister of Iceland, Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir. Although only an interim leader, many see her appointment as a milestone. Up until now, says the BBC News website, should a lesbian or gay man have been prime minister they'd have done their best to conceal the fact.

Some believe that Margaret Thatcher's predecessor as Tory party leader, Edward Heath was gay although Mr Heath never publicly confirmed this. Another British PM from much earlier, William Pitt the Younger, was also rumoured to be gay. Considering that LGBT people make up a significant percentage of the world's population there have no doubt been many other LGBT heads of government and heads of state around the world throughout history. Even today, for some, it's difficult to be open and honest about LGBT lives and circumstances.

Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir was born in Reykjavik in October 1942. She worked as a flight attendant and was active in the trade union movement before being elected to the Icelandic parliament as a Social Democrat in 1978. She is divorced and has two sons, and lives with her partner, Jónína Leósdóttir, who is an author and playright.

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