In the small Texas town of New Hope which only has 640 registered voters, something new for them and the entire state of Texas has occurred — their mayor has come out as trans. Jess Herbst, has a wife and two kids, and recently came out to her city as transgender in an open letter on the town’s website:
“As your Mayor I must tell you about something that has been with me since my earliest memories. I am Transgender. Two years ago, with the support of my wife, daughters and son-in-law, I began Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). At the time, I did not imagine I would hold the Mayors position, but here I am,” she wrote.
The Texas Observer reports that it is believed that Herbst is the first mayor in Texas to be openly trans.
In her letter, we learn that Herbst’s wife and daughters are very supportive of her:
“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.”
She encourages the people of New Hope to email her with any questions or attend town hall meetings with concerns. Herbst only asks her constituents to call her ‘Jess’ now versus ‘Jeff’ and understands it may take time for people to make the pronoun change.
“I have received emails congratulating me, calling me brave and even one expressing pride in living in a town with a mayor like me,” Herbst told the Huffington Post. “I never hoped for more than simple tolerance, the outpouring of support is unprecedented.”
If the small town of New Hope, Texas, can support Herbst, a trans woman, parent, and mayor — then there’s hope for us all.