The New York Times yesterday ran an article about several transgender political candidates running in various parts of the country.
It's interesting to note how many such candidates there are.
Are transgender people finally entering the political life of our nation, and not hiding in the shadows?
Well, this is only a handful of people, so I wouldn't go so far, but it is a harbinger of things to come. At this point, I would say that most trans people are severely marginalized, but there is some light peeping through the clouds.
The tone of the Times article suggests that trans political candidates are more of a curiosity than anything else. As Dr. Johnson said of women preachers: "like a dog standing on its hind legs, it does not matter that they do it well, but that they do it at all."
The title of the article is "Advocates Hope Transgender Identity Is Not a Defining One"
Thus, "hope" is what they have, but not about winning, but about whether they are seen as candidates at all, rather than sexual minorities.
But that is not what sets Ms. Sparks apart; it is her past. Until a decade ago, Ms. Sparks was a man, before a gender reassignment surgery. And while her sex may have changed, her politics did not.
And, as their lead in the story, it notes she used to run a sex toy company, is twice-divorced and had electroshock therapy. But lest you think they are saying she is a mere curiosity, it goes out of its way to say this:
And unlike in years past, when such candidates were often considered mere curiosities, several are within striking distance of historic victories...That said, the number of transgender candidates is still small, and often unsuccessful.
They say any publicity is good publicity. And there's no question we're making strides. And being noticed by the Grey Lady is praise indeed. Isn't it?