Maine elects its first openly transgender public official to school board

Northeast

Trans pride flags flutter in the wind at a gathering to celebrate International Transgender Day of Visibility, March 31, 2017 at the Edward R. Roybal Federal Building in Los Angeles, California.
International Transgender Day of Visibility is dedicated to celebrating transgender people and raising awareness of discrimination faced by transgender people worldwide. / AFP PHOTO / Robyn Beck (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

INDIAN TOWNSHIP, Maine (NewsNation Now) — Geo Neptune is the first openly transgender person elected to Maine public office. Neptune, who uses they/them pronouns, was elected to the school board in Indian Township.

Neptune received the most votes of all three candidates elected to the school board.

Neptune is a member of the Passamaquoddy Tribe of Indian Township, Maine. As a Two-Spirit artist and educator as an art teacher in an after-school program, Neptune says students desire more connections to Passamaquoddy culture and language in schools.

“The education system treats our own culture as supplementary, as an extracurricular activity that the kids are allowed to do, instead of treating Passamaquoddy culture and history as one of the main priorities in the education system,” Neptune explained on Maine Public Radio. “These youth concerns, on top of community members asking me to run, those are my two motivating reasons for running for this office.”

MaineTransNet, a transgender advocacy group, originally credited Neptune on Facebook as the first openly transgender person elected to Maine public office. The original post has been shared 12 thousand times.

Virginia Delegate Danica Roem made history when she became the first openly transgender person elected to a state legislature in 2017. Since then, Minneapolis, New Hampshire, and West Virginia are among the states that have also elected transgender representatives.

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