A Texas mayor made history this week when she came out as transgender.
New Hope Mayor Jess Herbst — the state’s first seated official to openly change gender — shared her announcement in an open letter posted on the town’s website this week.
“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,” Herbst wrote.
Herbst — who was previously elected as an alderman to the town council — was appointed mayor when the town’s previous mayor, Johnny Mamm, died in the days leading up to the election. When he was re-elected post mortem, Herbst was assigned his role.
Herbst, whose birth name is Jeff, has been living in New Hope since 1999 with her wife and two daughters.
“It is gender identity not sexual preference that applies to me. 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,” Herbst explains in her letter.