In an open letter to her town of New Hope, Texas, Mayor Jess Herbst publicly came out as transgender.
“As your Mayor I must tell you about something that has been with me since my earliest memories. I am Transgender,” she wrote and submitted to her town’s website, adding that she began her hormone replacement therapy two years ago.
Herbst became mayor in May of last year. In addition to being the first known transgender mayor in Texas, she’s also the first transgender elected mayor in the state overall.
“I know that transgender people are just coming to light in our society, and we have made great strides in the last few years,” she added. “It is gender identity not sexual preference that applies to me. I love my wife, and she loves me, we have no intention of change. My daughters have been adamant supporters of me and are proud to tell people their father is transgender.”
In addition, Herbst has started a blog to chronicle her journey, at JessHerbst.com.
Herbst has also specified that she does not take offense to being called the improper pronoun as she understands her townsfolk needing time to adjust. She encourages anyone to email her with questions and attend Monthly Town Council Meetings.