Two transgender judges to serve
This week, two transgender people achieved victories as judges. Phyllis Randolph Frye, a veteran transgender legal advocate, was appointed by Houston mayor Annise Parker as an Associate Municipal Judge. The City Council unanimously approved the appointment and she was sworn in yesterday. Phyllis’ contributions to the transgender community over the decades are numerous and groundbreaking. She truly has been a pioneer securing legal rights for transgender people and standing up for those who would not otherwise have a voice. And in Alameda County, California, the vote count is finally done and Victoria Kolakowski was officially declared the winner of her race for Superior Court Judge. She will be the nation’s first out transgender person elected as a trial judge. She, too, brings decades of legal experience to her work. “Both of these women achieved what they did because of their qualifications,” noted Mara Keisling, NCTE’s executive director. “Both are deeply dedicated to their profession. The people of the United States deserve the very best judges and that is what they got in both of these cases. What is important here is that Mayor Parker of Houston and the voters of Alameda County removed the artificial barriers that are put in place by anti-transgender discrimination and made their decision based on the qualifications of these two outstanding women.” NCTE extends its congratulations to both Phyllis and Vicky. This is truly a victory as barriers fall and two deserving judges take the bench.