Published on March 23rd, 2012 | by Wild Gender0
The Trans Candidates Shaking Up Election Season
WASHITNGON, D.C. — This election season is the first in U.S. history that several openly trans people will appear on the ballot. This year, Lauren Scott of Nevada is running for the state Assembly and, Mel Wymore, a trans guy from New York City is running as a candidate for City Council on the Upper West Side. To date, a trans Democratic district leader in Westchester County N.Y., and a former member of the Hawaii Board of Education, are currently the nation’s only openly transgender elected officials.
A story about Scott appeared in the Advocate this week and the New York Times ran a feature on Wymore, published in their Sunday edition, titled “A Transgender Candidate is Hoping to Make History.”
According to the Advocate, Scott has filed to run as a Republican candidate for the state Assembly after switching her Democratic party affiliation from to Republican, believing that as a Republican, she could work more effectively. Also last year, Scott succeeded in passing Nevada Assembly’s bill to outlaw discrimination against transgender people.
Right now, she serves as the executive director of Equality Nevada and works as a business consultant to government and private industry, focused on renewable energy issues. She was an active-duty member of the U.S. Air Force for nearly seven years, and was awarded two Achievement Medals and a Commendation Medal for her service during Operation Desert Storm. She received an honorable discharge in 1994.
Wymore, a father of two and former chairman of Community Board 7 , is running for New York City’s Sixth District seat currently occupied by Gale A. Brewer.
“I’m not running because I’m transgender,” said Mr. Wymore, 50, to the New York Times. But, he said, that “doesn’t mean that being transgender doesn’t bring a certain perspective.”
Melissa Sklarz, a trans woman, and president of the Stonewall Democratic Club of New York City, told the Times, as president of the club, she can not make an endorsement. But she described Mr. Wymore’s candidacy as “an opportunity for transgender people everywhere.”
“He’s a great representative,” Ms. Sklarz said. “Many people only know of transgender, I guess, from watching Chaz Bono on ‘Dancing With the Stars.’ Mel Wymore brings a much different, broader experience.”