Stamford votes in first transgender elected official in state

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STAMFORD -

A Stamford Democrat has become the first transgender woman ever elected to public office in Connecticut.

Raven Matherne will attend her first meeting of the Board of Representatives at the Stamford Government Center next month. She will represent North Stamford.

She says getting elected as a trans woman was difficult – even in politically left-leaning Stamford.

"At least once a day, someone would ask me an incredibly inappropriate question about my body or my genitalia or things of that nature," she says.

But she stuck to her campaign and eventually won.

"People would listen to my message, but then they would catch sight of things, like my fingernails polished," she says. "Or they'd ask me a question about my name, and it became a hurdle that I had to overcome."

Matherne ran on a platform dedicated to controlling development and protecting open parkland, but she says her gender identity came up almost every day on the campaign trail.

"It wasn't part of my message," she says. "Development and growth need to be handled in a responsible way."

She is among several trans individuals elected to office around the country Tuesday, including in Virginia, where voters elected their first transgender state lawmaker.

But she says she was unaware her election would make history until someone informed her.

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