Jess Herbst has become Texas’ first transgender mayor after coming out in an open letter.
Herbst has been serving as the mayor of New Hope—a small town north of Dallas—for the past seven months.
“As your Mayor I must tell you about something that has been with me since my earliest memories. I am Transgender,” she writes in the letter.
Herbst says on her blog that transitioning has been a slow process, but with the support of her wife and family, she began Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) two years ago.
“It took me 50 years to even leave the house dressed as a female. Another six to decide that I wanted it to be permanent. Two years after starting HRT, I have finally made myself known to everyone in my life,” she writes.
In the letter, Herbst praised the increased representation of transgender individuals in popular culture.
“Celebrities like olympic gold medalist Caitlyn Jenner, Laverne Cox from the show Orange is the new Black and popular shows like Transparent, society finally has a chance to see and learn about who we are.”
Herbst is self-employed and noted that all of her customers have been “understanding and supportive”.
Herbst was appointed as mayor after her predecessor passed away just days after winning the election. She says that she hopes to do the very best for the town.
“I live my life as a female now, and I will be performing my duties to the town as such.”
The announcement comes as Republican lawmakers in Texas continue to push to restrict public bathroom access to transgender people.