Alex Blaze

Political trans-panic in Riverdale, Georgia

Filed By Alex Blaze | December 03, 2007 7:05 AM | comments

Filed in: Gay Icons and History, Politics, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: city council, Georgia, intersex, lawsuit, Michelle Bruce, Riverdale, runoff, transgender

Michelle Bruce, a transgender city councilwoman, is being sued for voter fraud in Riverdale, Georgia because she ran as a woman:

190-bruce.jpgFour years after she won a City Council seat, making her what is believed to be Georgia’s first transgender politician, Michelle Bruce is battling a lawsuit by an unsuccessful opponent who claims she misled voters by running as a woman.

Ms. Bruce, a tall woman with shoulder-length graying hair, said she has always identified herself as transgender.

“I’ve always been Michelle,” she said. “If someone has a problem with that, I can’t help them. It’s a personal issue.”

Talk about sour grapes. More after the jump.

Bruce was elected to the council in an unopposed race back in 2003, and she won reelection this past year after having served on the council for four years as an openly transwoman. So where's the "fraud"?

Ms. Fuller did not return calls seeking comment, but her lawyer said voters in Riverdale tended to favor female candidates, particularly if they were incumbents.

It gives her an unfair advantage,” said the lawyer, Michael King. “It’s not just sour grapes. The people need to know whether the election is fair.”

Being a woman now gives candidates an "unfair advantage" in politics? Is Georgia the only place in American without patriarchy now? Is Riverdale the lesbian separatist matriarchy I'd never heard about?

The lawsuit's premise is even better. George W. Bush ran as a "compassionate conservative" and a "uniter, not a divider," and we all know how that panned out. Do we get to sue him now?

But that would actually make more sense than Fuller's lawsuit, since Michelle Bruce ran as and is who she is (via Autumn):

Bruce, who was born intersexed and identifies as transgender, said the website is a result of Graham’s “cronyism.”

“They’re just trying to use anything they can to smear me and get me out of office,” Bruce said. “The website itself is nothing, but — it hurts, don’t get me wrong — but it’s a shame someone has to go after someone’s race or gender and that’s all they can use."

It has gotten pretty nasty for an election where the winner, Bruce, garnered just over 312 votes. An anonymous transphobic hate site was set up to keep Riverdalers up-to-date on the latest all-caps rants about whether the city should "ALLOW HIM TO USE THE FEMALE BATHROOM."

But this whole thing comes from the idea that someone's sex should come before her character, experience, and politics when running for public office. Whether she's male, female, trans, or intersex shouldn't have any bearing on her ability to do a good job, no matter what a silly lawsuit or anonymous hate site say.

And the good people of Riverdale seem to realize this.


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I remember when I covered this story before the election. The most disturbing part is that the Mayor is involved in the smear campaign. :(

Nice . . . having a vagina is an unfair advantage.

Nice to see something on this being from Georgia this has gotten basicly no metion and NPR did what was basicly a fluff piece on it. Remember this Georgia as far as I know has no TGLB rights.Here its basicly learn to hid in plain sight or as the military calls it dont ask dont tell and you get along but stick your neck out and watch the rocks fly.

Just read that the lawsuit was tossed out and the runoff election will happen on schedule.