America’s First Transgender Mayor

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=6211839&page=1

When looking up politics regarding the trans community, I came across the article above describing America’s first transgender Mayor. It appears that Stu Rasmussen was first elected as a male identified individual in the small town of Silverton, Oregon. He won  and when it came due for a reelection in 2008, he decided to run “out” as a female identified candidate. Did it work? Obviously because he won by what the article describes as  “a landslide.” When asked about her transformation she explained that she went through it with her community, and in fact, they were ready for it before she was.

Stu Rasmussen

Though she describes her community  as rural and more conservative, she still won the ballot because “They judge people on talent and ability rather than shape.” I found this interesting, as it is usually the opposite reaction with small towns.

This got me thinking about Bloomington and our local politics. Known for its liberal views and accepting nature I wonder if Bloomington could be home to a future trans-politician. I certainly hope so.

Upon further investigation, I found another article regarding Stu and his inappropriate dress that  according to some, violated the city’s dress code at a speaking engagement just a year later.

http://www.komonews.com/news/local/51534057.html

This article describes Stu at a speaking engagement donning a bikini top with a mini skirt and heels when speaking to a group of leadership students. Appropriate or not? Many through not and voiced their complaints. They said that it was a business meeting and that the Mayor’s attire was simply inappropriate. When asked for comment Stu replied “I am an adult and I will wear what I please.”

Is this appropriate? In my opinion, it isn’t. Whether you identify as male or female, there is a time and place for professional wear and a time and place for a swimsuit.

One lady who attended the event was quoted as saying ” I just believe, as any other person, that they should dress modestly.” By reading this statement it shows me that some parts of the community still stigmatize the trans-community even though they are led by a self identified trans person.

Several results may come of this: Stu could be simply be warned or asked to not represent the city at public events, or she could be fired from her position altogether, though that would be unlikely.

So, what’s your opinion? Is Stu simply exercising her right as a citizen to wear what she pleases in public? Was she being a professional? Should she be held responsible for her dress at a city function? Is she being challenged simply because she is transgender?

 

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