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Meet Andrea Jenkins, the first openly transgender black woman elected to public office in the U.S.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

By Marwa Eltagouri

"Jenkins, who has been elected to the Minneapolis City Council, became the second openly transgender candidate to win a race Tuesday night. Democrat Danica Roem is poised to be the first openly transgender person elected and seated in a state legislature in the country, beating a 13-term Virginia incumbent who called himself the state’s 'chief homophobe' and who introduced a 'bathroom bill' earlier this year that would have restricted the bathrooms his opponent could use.

Jenkins, 56, said she believes her and Roem’s victories are proof many of the nation’s communities won’t succumb to hatred, bigotry or transphobia — and are willing to fight for social justice and equality for all minority groups.

'Transgender people have been here forever, and black transgender people have been here forever,' Jenkins told The Post after her election night win. 'I’m really proud to have achieved that status, and I look forward to more trans people joining me in elected office, and all other kinds of leadership roles in our society.'

...Advocates say Jenkins will be the first openly transgender black woman elected to public office in the United States. Althea Garrison, a black woman, became the first transgender person elected to a state legislature in 1992 but did not campaign as openly transgender, according to the Advocate. The first openly transgender woman of color voted into public office is Kim Coco Iwamoto, who in 2006 was elected to Hawaii’s Board of Education, gender advocates say.

In her acceptance speech, Jenkins said that 'as an African-American trans-identified woman, I know firsthand the feeling of being marginalized, left out, thrown under the bus,' KMSP-TV in Minneapolis reported. 'Those days are over. We don’t just want a seat at the table, we want to set the table.'"

Read the full article here.