The Welsh city of Bangor has elected the world’s first known nonbinary mayor.
Owen Hurcum took office on Monday following their unanimous election to the seat last year by the City Council. The 23-year-old Hurcum, who moved to Bangor from Harrow outside of London to attend university five years ago, is also the city’s youngest mayor.
“It is an enormous privilege to have been elected by my fellow City Council members to the office of Mayor of Bangor,” Hurcum told NBC News in a statement. “I don’t take this lightly and I will work as hard as I can in the role to give back everything to the City that has given me so much. I might only be 23 but I have a wealth of experience at local government and a fantastic team behind me so I know we are set up to face the challenges ahead.”
Hurcum, who uses gender neutral pronouns, previously had served as the city’s deputy mayor for a year before their election. Prior to becoming deputy mayor, they served four years as a city councilor.
Following their election last year, Hurcum said that their first steps as mayor “will be reaching across the different divisions of the community, continuing the good work of the departing mayor, and trying to get more grants in to develop the city.” 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.”
The elevation to Bangor’s highest office is an affirmation for the young mayor, the start of whose term was delayed due to the Covid pandemic. In a statement on Twitter, Hurcum said, “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 [Thank you] Bangor.”
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