On September 14, Californians voted whether to recall Governor Gavin Newsom. He faced 46 challengers, including openly trans reality star Caitlyn Jenner. While Jenner’s chances of winning were always razor-thin, if she did win, she would have made history as the first openly trans governor in the United States.
Although Jenner identifies as trans, the trans community doesn’t necessarily identify with her.
Maebe A. Girl, a non-binary trans person who holds the distinction of being the first drag queen to ever be elected into public office in the U.S., vocalized this disconnect.
“I don’t think Caitlyn Jenner represents the trans community,” opined Maebe, perched on a step of Silver Lake’s iconic Heart Staircase. “I think she represents the Republican party. It’s somewhat foolish to believe that the Republican party gives a damn about trans people.”
“As a politician that happens to be a trans person,” they continued, “one of the biggest challenges for me is getting people to see beyond my trans-ness. Yes, I’m running as the first trans person in Congress, because there’s never been a trans person in Congress. We deserve federal representation. But I think they think that’s the only thing I stand for. They don’t realize I’m for such issues as Medicare For All, and the Green New Deal, Housing For All, Education For All, and making sure our most marginalized communities are taken care of.”
As a member of the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council, one of the marginalized communities Maebe is taking care of is people experiencing homelessness, with programs such as the Silver Lake Community Fridge.
“There’s a program here in Los Angeles called LA Community Fridges. The organization helps to set up a fridge in your community, and then it’s up to the community to run the fridge. You have people who are donating, people who are using the fridge, people who are cleaning the fridge, people who are promoting the fridge. It’s a mutual aid effort.”
Maebe aims to apply their progressive agenda towards another historic milestone: becoming the first trans congressperson in 2022.
“We’re finally starting to see trans people represented in state legislatures, but there has still never been a federally elected trans person. How can we trust our government is looking out for trans people, or even considering trans people, when there is no trans person as part of the conversation. In some places, trans people aren’t even allowed to use the bathroom that they want to use. They’re not allowed to play sports in schools. It’s absolutely important that we have trans people a part of these conversations, instead of cisgender people making decisions for them.”