Collin county, a Texas suburb, is considered one of the state’s most conservative locales. That’s why its residents (and the state at large) probably didn’t expect this — the town of New Hope’s mayor coming out as transgender.
In an open letter on the town’s official website, Jess Herbst, who the Texas Observer reports took over the role of mayor (moving up from alderman) after the previous one had died, shared her experience with the town’s residents, first stating how important New Hope is to her and moving into an important message about trans visibility:
As your Mayor I must tell you about something that has been with me since my earliest memories. I am Transgender. Twoyears 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 Mayors position, but here I am.
I know that transgender people are just coming to light in our society, and we have made great strides in the last few years. Celebrities like olympic gold medalist Caitlyn Jenner, Laverne Cox from the show ‘Orange is the new Black’ and popular shows like ‘Transparent’ , society finally has a chance to see and learn about who we are. It is gender identity not sexual preference that applies to me. I love my wife, and she loves me, we have no intention of change. My daughters have been adamant supporters of me and are proud to tell people their father is transgender.