The mayor of a small town in Texas has come out as transgender in a simple, yet beautiful, letter.
Jess Herbst has been the mayor of the North Texas town of New Hope since May 2016, and this week wrote an open letter to residents of the town letting them know her transgender status, that she says has been met with “overwhelming support”.
“As the new mayor of New Hope, I would like to tell you all what a privilege it is to serve you,” she wrote in the letter.
“My wife has lived in New Hope since she was 2 years old. Along with our 2 daughters, we have lived here since 1999, on the same farm my wife was raised.
“As your Mayor I must tell you about something that has been with me since my earliest memories. I am Transgender.
“Two years 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 Mayor’s position, but here I am.
Ms Herbst said that transgender people have made “great strides” in visibility in just a few years, with celebrities like Caitlyn Jenner and Laverne Cox from “Orange Is The New Black”, as well as TV series like “Transparent”.
“Society finally has a chance to see and learn about who we are,” she wrote.
“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.
“I live my life as a female now, and I will be performing my duties to the town as such.
“I’m not especially sensitive to the pronoun I’m called, and I expect people to take time to make the change. I use the name Jess, a simple change from Jeff.
“I will continue as Mayor and hope to do the very best for the town.”
Jess also directed readers to her blog on which she has documented her transition and her experiences as a transgender person.
In one post, Ms Herbst said it wasn’t until her children were teenagers that she really started to research being transgender.
“I knew what I wanted, so I had a long discussion with my wife and she agreed to try some changes,” she wrote.
“We both went to my appointment with an endocrinologist. I told him I was transgender, and asked to be put on HRT.”
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