A transgender woman has made history again, as America’s first trans nominee for governor of a major political party. Or rather, American Democrat voters in Vermont have made history, by nominating her. Christine Hallquist was nominated for governor.
Hallquist follows Danica Roem, the Virginia Democrat who became the first transgender state legislator in the USA last year.
“I’m so honored to be part of this historical moment,” Hallquist told her people in her victory speech. “Vermont is such a beautiful state, and we’re going to preserve that beauty… for our children and our children’s children.”
“The blue wave starts here!” Hallquist told reporters and supporters.
“I tell people this isn’t the hardest thing I ever did. In fact, I think after transitioning everything else looks pretty easy.”
Christine has struggled with many of the same issues and concerns that other transgender women face such as family acceptance, people trying to cure her, obstacles to transition, and acceptance at work. In her job as a high-powered CEO, being female presented new challenges in the same role.
It was Donald Trump’s election that spurred her to run for governor. “November 8, 2016, I realized the world changed,” she told The Guardian.
“I was in political depression, and I just didn’t know what to do. I mean, many of us in this country shed a lot of tears for what happened on November 8.”
Here was one way she could take action, and represent the concerns of other transgender people, as well as anyone interested in progressive politics and a civil society.
Christine’s competition for November is the incumbent Republican Phil Scott. Scott is a moderate Republican who is well liked by Democrats due to his flexible nature, centrism, and support for stricter gun-control measures. These are the same reasons some Republicans are unhappy with him, seeing him as weak.
Regardless of the outcome this time, we are at a time in history where the civil rights issue of our time, transgender people and their rights and full participation in society, is breaking barriers every single day. I am optimistic that no matter who wins where now, it won’t be long until we have many transgender people in government and other leadership roles in all of the parties, religious groups, and all over the world.
To those who feel this is unlikely, consider the Anglican church and the United Church, both at the active forefront of advocacy for transgender inclusion in church and public life, and Caitlyn Jenner, a public figure and transgender woman who has usually voted Republican. She does not blindly follow every candidate—she knows her party’s shameful weakness on LGBTQ rights—but prefers to encourage change than to switch to a party whose fiscal policies don’t work for her.
Change is everywhere, and it’s beautiful.