- Jess Herbst became the first ever transgender mayor serving in a local town in Texas when she came out a year ago.
- She announced her identity by writing a letter telling New Hope town residents that she was transgender and then posting it to the town website.
- Now that she is seeking for re-election, she said her victory would mean she would be serving as the person she truly is.
The first ever transgender mayor in Texas is seeking re-election according to a recent transgender news by the Dallas Observer posted on January 31.
Jess Herbst, who first came out as transgender in a letter addressed to her constituents in New Hope town, decided that she would run again, promising that she would seek resolution to an extraterritorial jurisdiction issue with McKinney.
First transgender mayor in Texas
Herbst became the first ever transgender mayor serving in a local town in Texas when she came out a year ago.
She announced her identity by writing a letter telling New Hope town residents that she was transgender and then posting it to the town website.
“As your Mayor I must tell you about something that has been with me since my earliest memories,” she said in her letter. “I am transgender.”
Receiving support from the community, she said that many called her brave for coming out and she received supportive emails. It was also business as usual when she attended her first council meeting as a woman.
She said, “Never once did being transgender come up.”
Herbst came into power when the former mayor, Johnny Hamm, died of a heart attack during the previous election season.
Hamm, who served as mayor for 22 years, died three days before the election but still managed to beat his opponent, John Miller.
“What some of us believe is that the council dragged this out,” Miller claimed in an interview. “What they should have done legally is assign the pro tem to become the mayor before the election, which would have taken Mayor Hamm off the ballot. I would’ve won the election.”
Since her coming out, Herbst led in demanding for equality for transgender rights.
At the height of the deliberation of bathroom bill proposed by the Texas governor Dan Patrick, Herbst was one of those who joined the protest by standing in front of bathrooms at the state capitol.
She and her family, who had been very supportive of her decision, quickly became characterized as a modern family.
Now that she is seeking for re-election, she said her victory would mean she would be serving as the person she truly is.
“When I was elected alderman, it was as “Jeff,'” she said. “This is my first opportunity to be as I am.”
But her re-election would be a challenge, as she is running against Angel Hamm, Johnny Hamma’s wife.
This election would also be a test on how genuinely the town has accepted her as a transgender mayor. While she ran in many previous elections since 2003 as a man, this will be the first time she will be running as a transgender official. .
“I’m looking forward to know how my town feels,” she concluded.