CommunityPam's House Blend

Riverdale Councilwoman Michelle Bruce In A Run-Off

The Washington Blade reported:

Michelle Bruce of Georgia advanced to a runoff election to retain her seat on the Riverdale City Council. Bruce is transgender.

The Gay City News reported:

Michelle Bruce, an incumbent transgendered Council member in Riverdale, Georgia advanced to a runoff for her seat and was the top vote-getter.

This is good news, considering how her candidacy was treated by anonomous allies of the Mayor of her town.

The Southern Voice reported in mid-October that:

The small-town politics in Riverdale, Ga., features some big-time mudslinging in the final weeks before the Nov. 6 election, with a website accusing Georgia’s first transgender elected official of being a man who “used an alias and fooled everyone into thinking he was a woman.”

The website – operated by anonymous supporters of Riverdale Mayor Phaedra Graham – also notes that transgender City Councilmember Michelle Bruce is under investigation by the Georgia Attorney General’s office for allegations of election fraud during an attempt to recall Graham from office in 2005. Filed with the Secretary of State’s office in November 2006 and forwarded to the attorney general last month, the complaint accuses Bruce and her mother of forging signatures on recall petitions, a charge Bruce denies.

…”The referral to the attorney general’s office is in no way an implication of significance,” said Matt Carrothers, media relations director for the secretary of state’s office.

…More troubling to Bruce than the pending attorney general’s investigation is what she calls a “hate website” that features pictures of her and ridicules her for being transgender.

“The man at the left tricked us last election. He used an alias and fooled everyone into thinking he was a woman,” reads an entry on “Riverdale is the laughing stock of the county with him presently in office.”

The reality is that Michele Bruce has always lived as a woman: she was natally intersexed.

Bruce, who was born intersexed and identifies as transgender, said the website is a result of Graham’s “cronyism.”

“They’re just trying to use anything they can to smear me and get me out of office,” Bruce said. “The website itself is nothing, but – it hurts, don’t get me wrong – but it’s a shame someone has to go after someone’s race or gender and that’s all they can use.”

“They’ve made comments previously [about being transgender],” Bruce said of Graham and her political allies. “She’s gone around and said we need to get that transvestite out of office – that freak of nature.”

Michele’s story is a story to think about, especially as it’s only been a few since Intersex Awareness Day. Sex and gender are a lot more complex than most of us realize; and when people don’t easily fit into the Genesis 1:27 sex dichotomy … well, at the very least it appears to be nasty campaign fodder.

The run-off is scheduled for December 4th.

Further information:
* Victory Fund page: Michelle Bruce; Candidate for Councilwoman, Riverdale City Council

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