If Mel Wymore wins in November the New
York City Council seat he seeks, he would become the highest-profile
openly transgender politician elected to public office and the first
in the nation's biggest city.
“I want to create the inclusive
community, and it goes beyond my personal identity,” Wymore, 51,
the AP in a profile. “But it actually lends a lot to my story
and my credibility as a candidate. I'm honest, I'm brave, I'm
forthright, and I'm willing to stand up for change.”
Wymore, a Democrat with a long record
of community involvement, grew up as Melanie Wymore in Tucson,
Arizona, and worked for an aerospace company before settling down in
New York and raising two children. At 35, Wymore came out lesbian,
and a decade later transgender.
Wymore said that he had an epiphany
about his identity about five years ago during an anti-bullying
“It suddenly hit me that it was
gender that was at the core” of Wymore's unease. “And, of
course, it terrified me at the same moment because I'd already been
through this family-disrupting, life-changing transition.”
Wymore, who faces six challengers in
September's Democratic primary, has the endorsement of the Victory
Fund, a group dedicated to supporting openly LGBT candidates.
In a nod to the historic nature of the
race, the Victory Fund selected Wymore to receive one of its “Focus
Races” endorsements, an elevated status which brings with it a
large share of the group's resources and staff attention.