My nominees for the Most Influential Transpeople in 2017

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    Lynnea Stuart
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    1. Gavin Grimm. We first heard of his discrimination lawsuit in 2016. The U.S. Supreme Court wouldn’t hear his case. But he hasn’t gone away. In fact, he has continued his civil rights fight in Virginia after graduating.
    2. Michelle Noel Norsworthy, a recently released convict in California who had gained notoriety for obtaining transition care during her incarceration. She is now in San Francisco and has used her notoriety for organizing Joan’s House, a shelter for transgender homeless.
    3. Erica Andersen, a Swedish-American transgender psychiatrist who this year brought the message of the trans community to Stockholm in the program Alt fur Sverige while teaching at the University of San Francisco and serving on the Board of Directors at Joan’s House. She has also traveled to Brazil in 2017 to help expand trans awareness in hopes of alleviating the continuing holocaust of transpeople in that country.
    4. Michelle Suarez, the newly elected transgender legislator in Uruguay. She has made it her purpose as an official to advance civil rights for LGBT peoples.
    5. Joyita Mondal, the newly appointed transgender judge in India. She has pledged to fight for justice and respect.
    6. The members of Helem, the organization that has been most active in securing trans rights in Lebanon.
    7. Willa Naylor, the trans child who has secured transition benefits in Malta.
    8. Ashley Marie Preston. She’s a guerilla journalist who railed against Caitlyn Jenner at a Trans Chorus LA performance at the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center. Though her actions horrified attendees and very likely got her banned from the center, her actions underscored for many in the trans community concerning use of the transgender community for self-aggrandizement and backing politicians intending to harm the community.
    9. The Chechen transwoman who remains unnamed because of continuing threats upon her life, an activist from the Russian Federation who escaped persecution in death camps intended to exterminate LGBT peoples by Ramadan. She gained political asylum in the United States despite disinterest from the Trump administration. She awakened the public to facts concerning the treatment of transpeople in the former U.S.S.R., especially the Muslim republics and oblasts, most particularly Chechnya and Dagestan.
    10. The 7 transpeople elected to public office in 2017. They awakened to transpeople everywhere that even in oppressive times transpeople could win and make a difference, rebuking the agenda of Donald Trump:

    a. Stephe Koontz, elected to the Doraville GA City Council. She’s a businesswoman and church administrator, also serving on the Board of Directors at the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta.
    b. Tyler Titus, elected to the Erie PA School Board as a write-in candidate. He’s a licensed professional counselor, working in public and private schools. He’s a known youth advocate, and public speaker.
    c. Andrea Jenkins, elected to the Minneapolis MN City Council, Ward 8. She’s the first openly transgender woman “of color” to be elected to public office. She won with a whopping 73% of the vote against 3 other candidates in her district. She had been a campaign aide to other city council members for 12 years. Her objective as councilmember is to make Minneapolis a better place for marginalized minorities, especially African-Americans. She wants to create more affordable housing, promote police accountability, promoting economic development
    d. Philippe Cunningham, elected to the Minneapolis MN City Council, Ward 4. He’s the first openly transgender man “of color” elected to public office. He won by a closer margin than Andrea Jenkins so his election wasn’t called till the following day. He ran on a platform that stressed housing as a basic human right and expansion of business in the 4th Ward.
    e. Lisa Middleton, elected to the Palm Springs CA City Council. She won one of 2 seats, both winning 30% of the vote. Middleton previously served as a Planning Commissioner and other groups for the City of Palm Springs and worked for California’s State Compensation Insurance Fund (Worker’s Compensation). Her win makes her the first elected non-judicial trans official in California (Victoria Kolakowski won a Superior Court Judge seat in 2011).
    f. Gerri Cannon, elected to the Somersworth NH School Board. She’s a retired carpenter on call and public speaker at Freedom New Hampshire.
    g. Danica Roem, elected to the Virginia House of Delegates, 13th District. She’s the first transperson elected to a state legislative office. She’s a journalist against whom the Republican opponent produced ads attacking her trans status and who had written anti-transgender legislation for the State of Virginia.. She defeated her opponent by 9% of the vote.
    11. Julie Lemieux who is Quebec’s first trans mayor and the first transperson elected to office in Canada.
    12. The 5 transgender service-members who filed the lawsuit Doe v. Trump. Though Evangelicals and Steve Bannon prevailed upon Donald Trump to exclude transgender servicemembers, these 5 didn’t take the ruling laying down. A federal judge later blocked the ban on transpeople.

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