Andrea Jenkins Becomes First-Ever Openly Black Transgender Woman Elected To US Office
A black transgender woman has made history as the first black openly transgender woman elected to political office in the United States.
Democrat Andrea Jenkins won a seat on the Minneapolis City Council Tuesday night.
“As an out African-American trans-identified woman, I know first-hand the feeling of being marginalized, left out, thrown under the bus. Those days are over. We don’t just want a seat at the table — we want to set the table,” Jenkins said in a statement released by her campaign Wednesday.
A 56-year-old poet and historian who transitioned in her 30s, Jenkins earned roughly 73 percent of the vote in the race for an open seat in south Minneapolis, after having served years as a policy aide to two previous council members.
“Transgender people have been here forever, and black transgender people have been here forever,” Jenkins said in an interview with The Washington Post following 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.”
Jenkins was the second transgender woman to win a race Tuesday night. Democrat Danica Roem became the first openly transgender person seated in any state legislature in the country, having earned a seat in the Virginia House of Delegates.
Preceding both Jenkins and Roem is Althea Garrison who, in 1992, served one term in the Massachusetts state legislature though she was not out at the time.