Gerri Cannon and Lisa Bunker will make
history next week when they're sworn into office as New Hampshire's
first openly transgender women to serve in the State House.
Cannon will represent Somersworth,
while Bunker will represent Exeter.
According to the Portsmouth Herald,
New Hampshire voters elected an openly transgender legislator in
2012. But Stacie Laughton was never sworn in because of a felony
conviction that surfaced after she was elected.
Bunker said that the election of
President Donald Trump motivated her to pursue politics. Virginia
state Delegate Danica Roem's come-from-behind victory over incumbent
Delegate Bob Marshall, a Republican and a vocal opponent of LGBT
rights, to become Virginia's first transgender legislator, inspired
Bunker to make it official.
Roem, Virginia's first transgender legislator, sworn in.)
“That news electrified me,” Bunker
said. “I stayed up all night reading about her and her candidacy.”
“She ran a principled campaign on her
qualifications and the issues,” she added. “She did not make her
gender identity a part of her race. Her opponent tried to, but it
backfired on him and she got elected. She campaigned hard, she wore
out pairs of shoes canvassing and she got herself elected. I thought
if Danica can do it, I can do it.”
Cannon said that there are “lots of
health and human services issues,” including conversion therapy,
she wants to weigh in on.
“We had bills on conversion therapy.”
said, referring to the practice of attempting to alter an LGBT
person's sexual orientation or gender identity. “When I listened
to people fighting against it, it just bothered me. So, I said, you
know, I can add a voice here. And a more intelligent voice.”
Cannon and Bunker will be sworn in on