America’s first trans judge just got refused entry to India
The first trans judge in America has been refused entry to India.
Victoria Kolakowski, 55, was denied a visa to enter India, which has some of the most conservative laws, including banning homosexuality.
The judge had been invited to speak at the US Embassy in New Dehli about LGBT law and policy as part its speaker program.
However the trip was dropped when a visa was refused.
“Everything was arranged,” Kolakowski said in a Facebook post.
“I was packed and ready to go”, she wrote,
“I cannot extend or reschedule the trip, as I don’t have time to reset what averages to 30-40 attorney appearances in cases each week.
“It took us weeks to clear out these two weeks.
“I’m very disappointed, and I’m frustrated that this got caught up in a bureaucratic loop,” she told the Bay Area Reporter.
“I’m not even being told ‘no.’ I’m just being told ‘wait’ until it’s too late to do anything.”
She made history in 2011 when she became the first trans person to be sworn in as a trial judge in the US.
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The trans campaigner, who has over 20 years of legal and judicial experience, took the oath of office at a special session of the Superior Court of California.
Speaking before the ceremony, Ms Kolakowski told Dot429.com: “It’s been very hard as a transgender person.
“We’re a community that’s chronically under- and unemployed and I’ve encountered that sort of discrimination in the past, but we’re making so much more progress now. In terms of my career, I think part of it is hard work and perseverance, and part of it is good luck.”
California state Senator Ellen Corbett introduced her as “a friend, a colleague, a trailblazer,” saying, “as we celebrate this new decade we mark our own start and our own first….We all know the tremendous hurdles that [she] and the transgender community have overcome.”
In the race, she beat deputy district attorney John Creighton with 51 to 48 per cent of the vote.