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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, May 19, 2017 - Volume 45 Issue 20
It's not about politics:

From the wife of a transgender candidate
Section One
ALL STORIES
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It's not about politics:

From the wife of a transgender candidate

by Dawn Celeste McGregor - Special to the SGN

My husband is not a politician. He's an activist. My husband is Mac McGregor and he is running for the Seattle City Council. He is a man who speaks his heart and knows how to engage others in his vision. Mac is not rehearsed, nor does he regurgitate what people want to hear in order to get votes. I know this because the conversations we have in the privacy of our home or out having dinner with friends are the same as he has in front of hundreds of people. I've seen it time and time again. To name a few: when he spoke comforting words to the community after two young gay men were murdered, and with the non-judgmental training he gave the U.S. border patrol about gender and inclusion. The person I have late night conversations with about helping our community is saying the same things in front of hundreds of students at the University of Washington on gender and sexuality panels, and on the recent political panels for the Seattle City Council. My husband is the real deal. He practices what he preaches and means what he says. Why is this so important? We do not need one more superficial puppet in office. We need people for the people. We need authenticity and policy makers who have been marginalized, disenfranchised and have struggled. We no longer have the luxury of voting for candidates who know how to play the game. We need people like my husband holding offices that affect us all.

Mac is part of one of the most marginalized communities in our country at this time. There are places in the U.S. where people are rewarded for outing him in a public restroom, where he cannot safely go into either gendered restroom without being harassed and even fined. He looks like any other guy you would see in a men's restroom, but with his birth certificate stating he was born 'F,' he would be expected to join your daughter in the women's room. The transgender community does not have the freedom to choose where they are able to spend time away from their homes if there is any possibility of having to relieve themselves, just as same-sex couples, until recently, did not have the freedom to choose their legal spouse. These are basic human rights. And they should be considered common sense. Trans people using a restroom without fear & being able to marry whom you love & not being fired for sexual orientation or gender ... being paid the same, regardless of gender & seems pretty simple to me. Unfortunately, that is not the case. How do we change this? We vote in and support candidates who are from marginalized communities all over the country. We show the world that dignity and civil liberties are important. And anything less will not be tolerated.

Mac was asked the other day why him being Trans should effect whether someone would want to vote for him. His answer was simple. He explained that being a candidate from a marginalized community is a benefit to our society, but that alone does not make a person a good candidate. It's about bringing diverse perspectives to the table, but that if anyone is going to listen to those insights it needs to come from a person who knows how to build bridges. Someone who can see the big picture and what would benefit everyone. It is critical to have real people, who have truly struggled, making policies and affecting laws - people who are active members of their community. People who volunteer, who act, who support all people in their civil liberties. People who know how hard it is to find an affordable rental in their city. People who truly value small businesses and have seen how difficult it is to own one when the fees are so high that they can't even pay themselves a salary. People who have experienced what the community feels when they lose someone to violence. People who recognize how much privilege it takes to spend hours in line on a weekday to get your child into a school that will benefit them. People who build tiny houses on the weekends, because they believe that homelessness is not solved by policy alone, but by community action as well. People who take action in their community by volunteering, interacting, and connecting with the community that they so dearly love.

What makes Mac McGregor a good candidate is that he has a unique perspective and has the skills to express that in a productive and inclusive way. Being transgender contributes to what created those attributes. However, what makes him a great candidate is that he is an active member of the community, that he has been advocating for the marginalized his entire life. He has first-hand experience with the concerns for the majority of people who are just trying to take care of their family - those who want to simply live the best life they possibly can in the city they choose, and who want to feel safe doing so.

I believe that Mac McGregor is not merely a bleeding heart, but is a beating heart for all who struggle. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, 'We cannot have a first-class nation when we have second-class citizens.' Mac is here to lead people out of the shadows, and to 'beat' for all of us when we can't find the strength. One may think that because they don't live in Seattle, this campaign means nothing to them. There is nothing further from the truth. Supporting Mac McGregor and the other candidates around the country who are stepping up to fight for civil rights raises all of us up. This singular act is something you can do that has the potential to change the dynamics of the world.

www.votemacmcgregor.com

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