The UK has (at least) four new transgender councillors!



Dylan Tippetts for Compton in Plymouth, Kira Lewis for Higham Hill in Waltham Forest, Isla Wrathmell for Vauxhall in London’s Lambeth, and Elaine Gallagher in Glasgow were all successful in the vote, earning their place on their local councils.

I have personally lost track of the amount of times trans people and our allies have been told that there’s a silent majority who will speak at the ballot box. In fact, even with this election allies such as Mhairi Hunter, who lost her seat during this election, had anti-trans antagonists in her Twitter mentions trying to claim Hunter’s loss was due to supporting trans people. Hunter lost her seat to a trans woman, by the way.

So my own feelings about the general political landscape of the UK aside; its nice to see trans people not only running openly as ourselves but also winning while doing so. It’s pretty hard data on the fact that most people don’t think like anti-trans obsessives, most people care about real policy and action instead. There is no silent majority, just a bunch of transphobes fantasizing about “the good ol’ days” where transphobia was less unacceptable.

Writing on Twitter after the win Councillor Dylan Tippetts said; Thank you to all the people in Compton ward who put their trust in me to be your new Councillor. I feel so honoured and privileged. The hard work starts now. To the trans community – you belong, your voice is your power. Things will get better.

Councillor Kira Lewis wrote: Just spent the morning taking it in but I’m so proud to have been elected as @wfcouncil’s first trans councillor! Thanks Higham Hill for putting your faith in me. Looking forward to spending the next 4 years working for our whole community. “Councillor” is gender neutral

Councillor Isla Wrathmell wrote: Proud to be elected to as a Labour Councillor for Vauxhall! Proud to be one of the few openly transgender councillors elected today

and Councillor Elaine Gallagher spoke in interview about the harassment and abuse many trans people have faced and how a lot of it comes from a lack of understanding of trans people and issues. She also wrote on Twitter; I won! Councillor Elaine Gallagher.

I look forward to seeing not only their work in action, but what the power of representation can bring. As both Dylan and Elaine said in interviews, trans people aren’t scary we’re just normal people and its going to take having touch points and representatives who are trans for people to start to understand that more. For me this is a really positive step for our dreary little island, given all its been upto on this front as of late.

Congratulations councillors, time to kick some ass!

Gemma Stone
Gemma Stone is a transgender writer who has been covering the rise of transphobic hate campaigning in the UK. She has written hundreds of articles dissecting aspects of transphobia including debunking blatant disinformation. She is very tired and trying her best, and hopefully having a positive impact on such a beautiful community.

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