Back in the 2010 election cycle, the world's eyes were focused on Oklahoma as Brittany Novotny unsuccessfully tried to unseat homobigoted state Rep. Sally Kern (R).
Now another Oklahoma transwoman is attempting to become the first transperson elected to its state legislature and the first elected nationally since Althea Garrison was elected to the Massachusetts legislature in 1992.
Paula Sophia, a Desert Storm veteran and 22 year veteran of the Oklahoma City Police Department announced she would run in House District 88, the same one she patrolled as an OKC police officer until she retired on April 7.
“I was a community oriented police officer, now I’m going to be a community oriented legislator,” says Sophia in a KFOR-TV interview.
Sophia was the first transgender officer in Oklahoma City PD history and won numerous awards during her career including the OKC Exchange Club's Police Officer of the Year award and an FBI
Community Leadership Award.
The District 88 seat was held by state Rep. Kay Floyd (D), the first openly lesbian representative in Oklahoma history who was elected in 2012. Floyd announced in February her intention to run for the Oklahoma Senate District 46 seat being vacated by openly gay state Sen. Al McAffrey, who was the first ever LGBT member of the Oklahoma legislature and is running for Congress in this cycle for the 5th Congressional District seat being vacated by Rep James Lankford (R).
Sophia says she wants to focus on a number of issues should she be successful in winning that historic seat in Oklahoma's legislature.. “I have
a deep concern about peace and justice, about respecting the dignity of
every human being and I still deeply believe in those issues.”
She first has to get out of the June 24 Oklahoma Democratic primary election. If she does become the second transperson since Amanda Simpson accomplished the political feat in Arizona in 2004 to win a primary, she'd move on to the November general election.
Best of luck, Paula and hope you make some more Oklahoma and transgender history in the process..