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Stamford’s First Transgender Lawmaker Elected To Board Of Reps

Raven Matherne
Raven Matherne Photo Credit: ReformStamford.com

STAMFORD, Conn. — Raven Matherne, who was elected Tuesday to the Stamford Board of Representatives, is making history as the city's first openly transgender lawmaker, according to the Stamford Advocate.

Matherne, 29, is also believed to be the first transgender lawmaker in the state, the Advocate said.

She was elected to represent North Stamford's District 19, along with fellow Democrat Bob Lion, on the 40-member legislative board. They defeated Republicans Elise Esses and incumbent Gail Okun.

Matherne, who has lived in the district for over 20 years, ran as part of the Reform Stamford slate. They promised to fight tax breaks to corporate interests, work for common sense city planning, push back on property tax increases, fix roads and improve schools.

Her biography at the Reform Stamford website says Matherne is a lifelong martial artist as well as an avid outdoor and endurance sport enthusiast.

Early this year, Matherne came out as transgender and "has since dedicated herself to becoming a positive role model and representative for the LGBT community in local politics and government," the website says.

"She is a tenacious individual who understands and practices the concepts of commitment and dedication in all her endeavors. She looks forward to the opportunity of serving the citizens of District 19 with that same commitment and dedication that she has applied to all aspects of her life."

Matherne spent over a decade as a professional martial arts instructor, specializing in teaching and mentoring children from ages 3 to 18.

"Between her teaching and endurance endeavors, she is often described as making both a hobby and a living out of having patience. Both have also helped her develop the extreme focus and perseverance necessary to attain goals that required years of steady work to be attainable. This should prove to be invaluable training for transitioning into local politics and government," the website says.

Matherne told the Advocate that she began hormone replacement therapy in March. She didn’t actively promote her gender orientation while campaigning, but Matherne said it pushed her to run but plays almost no part in her stand on issues, according to the Advocate.

Think Progress reported that eight transgender candidates were elected nationwide this Election Day. Click here for the story.

Click here for the story at the Stamford Advocate.

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