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Jess Herbst, mayor of of the tiny conservative town of New Hope, Texas, has come out as transgender.
Herbst came out with an announcement on the New Hope website.
She also wrote about her transition on her personal website:
Early fall found me at work, unable to stop myself from telling everyone I work with that I was Trans. Their immediate acceptance and overall enthusiasm were startling. The very next day HR was happy to update my name and photo for my ID badge. I have not been back in male disguises since.
The town is next on the list and I have come out to a couple of councilmen, the town attorney & staff and a few key people in the town. Again everyone was immediately accepting.
The Huffington Post writes:
The reaction to her news has been overwhelmingly positive.
“I have received emails congratulating me, calling me brave and even one expressing pride in living in a town with a mayor like me,” Herbst said. “I never hoped for more than simple tolerance, the outpouring of support is unprecedented.”
Herbst is the first known openly transgender elected official in the state, the Texas Observer says, adding:
New Hope is a suburb of McKinney with a population of 670, according to the 2010 census. And Collin County is considered one of the most conservative suburban areas in Texas, with President Donald Trump winning by 17 percentage points in the general election.
The fact that a small, conservative town can be so open to its mayor transitioning is an encouraging sign.