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Minneapolis Elects Two Transgender Council Members

Voters in Minneapolis on Tuesday elected two openly transgender representatives to its City Council.

Andrea Jenkins, 56, handily won her race with 73 percent of the vote. Jenkins, a poet and historian, previously worked as a policy aide to two former council members.

Phillipe Cunningham, a 29-year-old transgender man, unseated longtime incumbent Barb Johnson, the current council president. Cunningham previously worked in the mayor’s office. Results of the race were announced on Wednesday, the Pioneer Press reported.

“People are saying no to hate and yes to love,” Jenkins said.

Cunningham said that he received a tremendous amount of support.

“I would say that in my race overall people were overwhelmingly supportive,” Cunningham told the AP. “And particularly around the diversity that I was bringing to the table. Very unexpected people when they found out that I was trans and I’m also black and queer, when they found that out, then they saw my husband, who is also trans, they were like, ‘That’s who I want to represent my neighborhood. That’s who I want to be the face of my neighborhood.’”

“There’s been negativity and ugliness, but the goodness has far outweighed it,” he added.

Jenkins added that during the race she named transphobia and racism as her opponents.

“It’s been beautiful. It’s been a beautiful experience,” she said.

Other victories on Tuesday included Virginia electing its first openly transgender state legislator.

 

We've got this gift of love, but love is like a precious plant. You can't just accept it and leave it in the cupboard or just think it's going to get on by itself. You've got to keep watering it. You've got to really look after it and nurture it.

- John Lennon

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