At the ongoing 2017 NATO summit, spouses of the coalition’s leaders assembled for events organised in their honour. But this year, among the first wives and official partners was a first husband. That is groundbreaking on its own, considering only a handful of women have been legally elected to lead their countries in the last 100 years. But no, this first husband is openly gay and married to an openly gay prime minister. This is a picture that in the last 20 years we never would have thought would happen.
In 2015 when European country Luxemborg legalised gay marriage, one of the first people to get married were its Prime Minister Xavier Bettel and his civil partner Gauthier Destenay. But it wasn’t as though Bettel and Destenay sprung their marriage on their country after ‘sneakily’ convincing them to legalise gay marriage. When Bettel was elected as prime minister in 2013, he was already out and in a public relationship with his now husband.
Bettel is the first and only openly gay head of state, ever.
And seeing him and his husband challenge gender constructs and the often pervasive effects of how gender is perceived says a lot for the struggle for equal rights for gender and sexual minorities. It is just a lot to actually see the rights so many have given their lives for finally happening, and not from one of the super power nations.