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Sweden has appointed its first transgender member of government, with Lina Axelsson Kihlblom becoming the minister of higher education and research.

Kihlblom, 51, was appointed on Tuesday by Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson, Sweden’s first female leader.

She described her path to gender reassignment in a 2018 interview for the magazine Icakuriren.

I was probably not more than three years old when it became clear to me that I ended up wrong. There are pictures of me as a child standing naked in my mother’s high heels and a pink bra,” Kihlblom said. She revealed that she had undergone gender reassignment surgery in a 2004 book titled ‘Will You Like Me Now?’

She completed her gender transition when she was 25, after five years of medical treatment, saying only then could she finally be herself – and that she pretended life before 25 did not exist.

As education minister, Kihlblom, who previously served as a primary school principal in Haninge, and head of administration in Nynäshamn municipality, said she plans to overhaul the system of higher education to make it more student oriented. She is also a trained lawyer.

Kihlblom’s tenure could be a short one, with new general elections expected in September 2022.

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