Minneapolis Transgender Politicians: Wins Show Hatred Won’t Stand

Newly elected city council members Phillipe Cunningham, left ,and Andrea Jenkins pose after an interview Thursday, Nov. 9, at City Hall in Minneapolis. The two black transgender representatives-elect add to what advocacy groups have described as a banner election for transgender people in public office. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Jim Mone/AP

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Two newly elected transgender members of the Minneapolis City Council hugged, shared a high-five and enjoyed cheers from onlookers as they met at City Hall.

Andrea Jenkins and Phillipe Cunningham take office in January. They say their historic wins are a victory for equality in the U.S.

Jenkins and Cunningham know their way around City Hall. Jenkins, a 56-year-old transgender woman, spent years as a policy aide to two previous council members. Cunningham, a 29-year-old transgender man, worked in the mayor’s office.

Cunningham says when voters found out he was transgender and black — and that his husband also is transgender — they said, “That’s who I want to represent my neighborhood.”

Jenkins says their election is a signal that “hatred and bigotry in this country will not stand.”

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