The lyrics “plenty of heart and plenty of hope” in the popular musical Oklahoma explain the 2010 Oklahoma state house race best. This term Brittany Novotny, a transgendered candidate, will be fighting for her chance to make a difference.
Running on the Oklahoma democratic ticket, Novotny faces many challenges in a traditionally red state, but insists that being a transgender is not one of them. She explains,
“You know being a person who is the first transgender woman to run for office in Oklahoma, I can tell you that I’ve gotten literally zero hates. Zero hate emails. Zero hate phone calls. Nobody at the door has slammed the door at my face and called me weird. In fact people have embraced me with open arms.”
The positive reaction, or lack of reaction, from the residents of Oklahoma says a lot about the continued acceptance of the gay/lesbian/bi/transgender community. The movements and endless struggles they have faced in order to gain even this much respect are shocking, but also inspiring and motivational.
But is everyone accepting of Novotny candidacy? In 2008, Sally Kern, running for the Oklahoma state house on the Republican ticket, made a controversial comment about homosexuals. She said,
“…Studies show that no society that has totally embraced homosexuality has lasted more than…a few decades…I honestly think it’s the biggest threat…our nation has, even more so than terrorism, or Islam…”
This quote drew much controversy even making it on a live taping of the Ellen DeGeneres Show. Currently the candidates have not discussed the issue of transgender in their platforms and have remained dedicated to the issues involving the betterment of Oklahoma.
Despite the issues regarding each candidates platform, one thing is for sure, Oklahoma’s general acceptance of a transgendered candidate is a step in the right direction for the GLBT community.