Councillor Carl Austin-Behan is set to take up the chains of office when he becomes the new Lord Mayor of Manchester on Wednesday 18 May 2016.
Manchester's new Lord Mayor pledges to champion diversity
The honour marks another achievement for Councillor Austin-Behan, who has served the Burnage ward since 2011.
Councillor Austin-Behan was born and educated in Manchester, attending Crumpsall Lane Primary School before studying at Abraham Moss High School.
His adult life has seen him perform a variety of voluntary and paid roles.
During his service in the RAF - as a firefighter - Cllr Austin-Behan was notably awarded the Good Show Award for Bravery, The Royal Humane Society Bronze Award for rescuing a pilot from a burning Hawk Aircraft. He also received a mention in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 1996 with a Commander in Chief’s Commendation. He was later dismissed from the RAF as it was deemed that his sexuality was 'not compatible with service life’.
After returning to a career as a firefighter - serving at Moss Side fire station - Cllr Austin-Behan then went onto set up a promotions company with his business partner which won the contract to launch Metro in Manchester. Following this, the pair went on to set up a company specialising in cleaning the city’s apartment blocks.
Cllr Austin-Behan was crowned Mr Gay UK, in 2001, after heats were carried out in many towns and cities.
Since joining the Council, he has been Lead Member for Cycling and Lead Member for Gay Men. He has also sat on the Neighbourhood Scrutiny Committee and been a member of the Licensing Panel.
Cllr Austin-Behan will be running in the UK Fast We Love MCR 10K as Lord Mayor. He has previously helped to raise over £125,000 for a number of charities and continues to be an active supporter for a variety of good causes.
Lord Mayor of Manchester Councillor Carl Austin-Behan, said: “As Manchester's first openly gay Lord Mayor it will be an honour to represent the entire city. The wide range of diverse backgrounds, identities and sexual orientations of people living in our city deserves to be celebrated more and I look forward to engaging and connecting with people from communities across Manchester as well as visitors from all corners of the globe.”
He is passionate about promoting the achievements and contributions the city's LGBT population provide Manchester. Cllr Austin-Behan looks forward to being a proud and vocal figure to promote LGBT inclusion throughout his term.
Cllr Austin-Behan is married and lives in Burnage with his husband and their two Maltipoo dogs, Scrappy and Oleg.
His husband Simon Austin-Behan will act as Consort during his year in office.