A trans mayor in Oregon, US, has come under fire for wearing “inappropriate” clothes.
Stu Rasmussen, the mayor of Silverton, identifies as a heterosexual man but expresses his gender as female and has had breast surgery.
However, the director of a youth programme has filed a complaint saying that his choice of attire to a recent youth event was in violation of the city council’s dress code.
According to the Statesman-Journal, Silverton Together Director Brenda Sturdevant said Rasmussen’s “high heels, a very short skirt and some sort of halter top revealing much of his bosom, shoulders and back” was inappropriate.
She continued: “This puts Silverton Together in a position that will be difficult to defend when we have sent our youth home on various occasions to change into something more appropriate. I expect our public leaders to follow the same guidelines that we have for our youth.”
Rasmussen, who is thought to be the first openly trans mayor in America, is on the programme’s board of directors and was invited to give a talk to young people.
He said he initially believed the complaint was a hoax.
In a rebuttal, he said: “It is surprising and disappointing that an organisation chartered to promote diversity and cultural understanding would take a public position of intolerance.”
He also criticised the city council’s dress code, saying: “Silverton voters have spoken plainly and openly that the issue of personal attire or appearance is not relevant to their choices for council representatives.”
Rasmussen, 60, was elected as mayor last autumn. He has served as mayor twice before, elected in 1988 and again in 1990, before he underwent breast surgery.
At the time of his latest election, he said: “I am a dude. I am a heterosexual male who appears to be a female.
He told kgw.com: “Some guys’ mid-life crisis is motorcycles or sports cars or climbing mountains or trophy wives or whatever. I always wanted cleavage, so I went out and acquired some.”