Talk about making history!
Back in January, the mayor of a Texas town called New Hope revealed that she had transitioned and would be now known as Jess Herbst. It’s only been eight months since Miz Herbst became mayor and she’s already made history. How?
Well, during a recent interview with The New York Times, the political figure noted she’s the first openly transgender mayor in the state of Texas. Such a huge achievement!
“As far as I know, I am the first openly transgender mayor on record in the state of Texas; there could be others who never came out. But I am the first to say, ├óΓé¼╦£Yes I am transgender and a seated mayor.'”
Jess first broke the news to her constituents by penning an announcement on the town’s website. In the open letter, the mayor shared:
“As your mayor I must tell you about something that has been with me since my earliest memories. I am Transgender. Two years ago, with the support of my wife, daughters, and son-in-law, I began hormone replacement therapy (HRT)… At the time, I did not imagine I would hold the mayor’s position, but here I am.”
So brave. Jess has been a longtime public servant as she’s served as the elected alderman, road commissioner, and mayor pro tempore. But, in 2016, her life changed when she was appointed the mayor after the sitting mayor died. Whoa.
While Jess’ news has been public for sometime, it appears as though the town has not quickly adapted to the changes. Case in point, as of Wednesday morning, New Hope’s website still listed their mayor as Jeff Herbst (Jess’ name before the transition). One small-minded resident relayed:
“In the role he plays in the community, I’m not sure how that would be a positive thing.”
SERIOUSLY? Way to use the wrong pronoun, man.
Nonetheless, Herbst isn’t disheartened by this slow response as she added:
“I’m not especially sensitive to the pronoun I’m called, and I expect people to take time to make the change. I use the name Jess, a simple change from Jeff. I live my life as a female now, and I will be performing my duties to the town as such. “
Well said. Not to mention, the mayor’s announcement comes right as a pesky transphobic bathroom bill began making its rounds through the state legislature. The said bill is trying to make it a requirement for people to use the bathroom matching their “biological sex” while in government buildings. Ugh.
Hopefully Jess’ admission will help educate people on why a bill like that is wrong.
We’re definitely rooting for Jess and wish her a lengthy career in politics. Good luck, girl!
[Image via Mayor Jess Herbst.]