The far right’s drubbing in the French election exposed the biggest challenge for European nationalists: convincing voters that they are no longer a bunch of intolerant haters. To argue that point, welcome to the political stage Alice Weidel, the improbable new voice of Germany’s far right. In person, the cardigan-wearing former investment banker eschews fiery rhetoric in favor of almost academic answers.

But there’s something else that distinguishes her from the populist pack. After days spent campaigning for the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, the 38-year-old lesbian goes home to her partner and two sons. “My election and my high acceptance within the party show that, contrary to public perception, my party is tolerant,” said Weidel, one of two politicians elected last month to lead the AfD into Germany’s national elections in September. READ MORE