This week’s mid-term elections marked a historic first in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LBGT) movement for equality and civic engagement with a transgender woman being elected.

Attorney Kim Coco Iwamoto was elected to Hawaii’s state-level Board of Education (Oahu-at-Large), a non-partisan office.

Ms Iwamoto, an openly transgender woman, is a member of the National Centre for Transgender Equality’s (NCTE) Board of Advisors. Iwamoto holds a Juris Doctor from the University of New Mexico School of Law, is a volunteer guardian ad litem for the First Circuit Family Court, and is a frequent speaker at high schools and colleges on civil rights issues and community service.

“This is a truly historic win and marks an important first in the American political landscape, said Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Centre for Transgender Equality. “Kim Coco Iwamoto is an outstanding individual with a long history of pro bono legal work and volunteerism benefiting her home state. She will serve the people of Hawaii well.”

There are currently only a limited number of openly transgender elected officials serving in the US and around the world. In the United States, Michelle Bruce serves on the City Council in Riverdale, GA and Jessica Orsini serves as an Alderman in Centralia, MO. There are also dozens of other openly transgender appointed public officials across the U.S. New Zealand’s Georgina Beyer has served in Parliament since 1999; Aya Kamikawa was elected as a municipal official in Tokyo, Japan; Vladimir Luxuria was recently elected to Italy’s Parliament.

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