Saturday, June 25, 2016

Two Trans Presidential Electors For The 2016 Cycle!

Jack Schuler poses with both Sanders and Clinton signs.
I keep pointing out the fact that trans people are integrated into the fabric of American society, despite the best efforts of our right wing opponents to demonize and falsely claim we aren't.

One of the ways that we trans people are part of the greater society is in terms of our participation in politics. During the upcoming Democratic National Convention we'll have so far 24 trans people from across the country who will be participating at the convention in Philadelphia, including two of my fellow Texans.

And I've been pleased and happy to discover that when the presidential electors handle the business in December of picking our next president after the November 8 election, if their states go blue, we will have the historic moment as a trans community of having two out trans people doing that job.

One of the 2016 trans electors is Jack Schuler of Iowa, who was chosen as an elector last month at the Iowa Democratic convention..   He is the first out trans elector in Iowa and in the nation.

"I really didn't realize in the moment how much attention I would be getting  I still kind of overwhelmed,"said Schuler.  "As surreal as some of this feels, I think it's a great opportunity for me to represent, and also a huge responsibility  I feel like now I can be someone who can be a representative of the trans community."

The second trans elector is from deep in the heart of Texas. (stop hating).

She's Joy Eleanor Parks, and became the elector for Senate District 16 after Katherine Savers McGovern, one of two people along with Zach Rudner who ran and won at the recent Texas Democratic Convention in San Antonio for an elector spot in SD16, was also selected as a delegate for the 2016 DNC convention.

McGovern decided to take the delegate spot to the DNC convention, and since Parks finished third in that elector voting, she got moved up to replace McGovern as an elector for SD 16.  By moving up to replace McGovern in that elector spot, Parks became the first out trans Texan and probably the first out trans feminine person nationally to be a presidential elector.

Since she's one of my FB friends, I asked Joy what her thoughts were about this trans history making moment.

"It's very humbling being the first. I wouldn't be where I am without trailblazers like yourself and Melanie Pruitt who helped mentor me when I was young enough for YFT,"said Parks. "I'm overwhelmed with the outpouring of support I received from those who voted for me as well as those who congratulated me. The video Omar Narvaez Adam Medrano and Philip Kingston made to congratulate me was especially touching. They were at the MLK memorial when they did it,

"I'm overwhelmed by the amount of support I've received from not only young people and activists but local elected officials as well like them," Parks added

The caveat for both trans electors is they get to fulfill their duty in December in Des Moines and Austin only if their respective states turn blue in the election November 8

While that's a plausible possibility for Jack in Iowa, which has gone blue in the last two election cycles, has leaned Democratic since 1988 and is a battleground state, Texas on the other hand hasn't gone blue for a Democrat since Jimmy Carter did so in 1976.  But with Donald Trump only polling in the single digits here, this may be the year it happens.  Joy is certainly hoping that it does so she can make that trip to Austin and make some more history.

Congratulations to Jack and Joy, and here's hoping they are both casting electoral votes in December

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