Monday, September 03, 2012

The 2012 DNC Trans Delegates

When I say in my posts that the Democratic Party has an inclusive big blue tent, I'm not kidding   One of the things I'm most proud of about my party is that trans delegates since 2000 have been part of the proceedings and that will also be the case when the Democratic National Convention kicks off September 4-6 in Charlotte, North Carolina. 

When the Democratic Party gathered for their 2000 convention in Los Angeles, Minnesota's Jane Fee became the first ever trans delegate to take part in a DNC.   Four years later at the DNC 2004 convention in Boston, the delegations from Georgia, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas had trans people as members of them. 

At the historic 2008 DNC in Denver, not only was 'gender identity' included in the language of the Democratic Party platform for the first time, we had transpeople as part of the delegations from the states of Arizona, Indiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Tennessee and Texas.

History was also made in 2008 as the first ever African-American trans delegate, Dr. Marisa Richmond, was elected as part of Tennessee's DNC contingent.   

When the 2012 DNC convention is gaveled into session in Charlotte's Time Warner Cable Arena tomorrow, there will be 12 trans Democrats in attendance as delegates when it starts.  They are from blue states such as Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Oregon and Wisconsin and red states such as Arizona, North Carolina, Missouri and Texas. 

They also range from superdelegates to committee members, so we as a trans community will be well represented during this event by the time President Obama makes his acceptance speech at Bank of America Stadium on September 6. 

I'm most proud to note that for African-American transpeople, it will be a historic occasion for the second time.  In addition to Dr. Marisa Richmond returning for her second consecutive DNC convention as a Tennessee delegate,  Kylar Broadus makes history again this year by becoming the first ever African-American trans masculine delegate to attend a DNC convention.  

I'm also happy that a trans Texan will be part of that DNC trans contingent for the third consecutive convention.   Meghan Stabler will be part of a record sized LGBT Lone Star contingent headed to the Tarheel State.

The 12 transpeople making up the DNC's trans contingent is not only a record, it is also the most diverse group of trans people to represent our community at a Democratic National convention.   You also have to consider how far we've come since 2000 and the time it took for us to get to this point.

Makes me proud to be a Democrat and wonder how many trans delegates we'll have at the 2016 DNC.  I also wonder whether those delegate ranks in 2016 will include trans political office holders for the first time in addition to the mix of convention vets and party members.. 

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