Transgender Candidates Make History

09 November, 2017, 01:54 | Author: Hope Soto
  • Andrea Jenkins

Jenkins has 12 years of experience as a campaign aide to other city council members. The Minneapolis Star Tribune had endorsed her, saying she was highly qualified and well prepared for the office.

During the campaign, she said her priorities include developing affordable housing, raising the minimum wage, addressing youth violence as a matter of public health, and supporting minority artists.

At the same time, Danica Roem became the first transgender person to be elected as a state official in the U.S. - by beating a virulent transphobe.

Andrea Jenkins easily won the race for a south Minneapolis seat Tuesday with roughly 73 per cent of the vote. She defeated transphobic Republican incumbent Bob Marshall for a spot in the House of Delegates. Jenkins is also a vocal advocate for the LGBTQIA community and has helped organize the Trans* Equity Summit, an event that focuses on trans rights and access to things like proper healthcare.

"Andrea Jenkins shattered a glass ceiling tonight - becoming the first out trans woman ever elected to the city council of a major USA city", Moodie-Mills said in a statement.

There were 18 openly transgender candidates that ran in the U.S.in 2017 and there are 11 running in 2018 elections, according to a list compiled by Harvard researcher Logan Casey. She is also a historian with the University of Minnesota's Transgender Oral History Project and an award-winning author of poetry and prose.

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"When people do try to enact policies that are going to be detrimental to these communities, I can be that voice to derail that, to stop that, to resist".

Those candidacies are partly a reaction to a wave of legislation hostile to transgender people in recent years from city halls to Congress, said Elliot Imse, communications director for the Washington D.C. -based Victory Fund, which supported LGBTQ candidates, including Jenkins and Cunningham.

She feels that by having a trans woman of color in the room, it changes the conversation, and gives the community a platform it lacked before. "We don't just want a seat at the table, we want to set the table", according to Fox 9 news.

Mara Keisling, the founder and executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, said the wins by Jenkins and Roem are especially meaningful at a time when the president and state legislatures have pushed bills that scale back protections for transgender people or limit their ability to use bathrooms that match their gender identity.

Tyler Titus is the first openly trans person ever elected in Pennsylvania.

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