Silverton’s trans mayor

Stu Rasmussen was elected Nov. 4, 2008, as the mayor of Silverton. He’ll be Oregon’s first openly transgendered elected official, and possibly the nation’s first openly transgendered mayor.

I wasn’t sure exactly what to say when I heard that Silverton elected an openly trans mayor (except congratulations Stu Rasmussen).

A self-described “…dude …a heterosexual male who appears to be a female,” Rasmussen has lived in Silverton all his life, has a live-in girlfriend of 25 years and recently got 36D breast implants.

He is at once more queer and more normal than your average GBLTQ alphabet soup dweller. And I applaud this. I encourage folks to both be themselves and claim whatever queerdom they espouse.

I also encourage self-education and have had to speak at length on trans issues even though I may not publicly identify as trans in a larger world context. Even if I did, it wouldn’t be my job to teach the world. That said, commenter Irishgirl712 has a very good point that this complex individual is using some pretty specific language that should be given some context.

He uses both the term transgender, which he seems to be using as an umbrella term in the same way many use the word “trans” although others may use it slightly differently.

He also uses transvestite, which has come to mean men (mostly straight) who dress like women.

It’s important to note that language is continually in flux. I would have appreciated if this short video and/or blog post addressed those tidbits just a little bit. So I feel it’s important to point you in the direction of a quick glossary of trans terms to start with. It is by no means exhaustive.

Nevertheless, it’s worth watching, and cheering for Oregon’s accepting small towns.

Transgendered mayor

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