This 20-year-old would be the first trans legislator in Washington state | KUOW News and Information

This 20-year-old would be the first trans legislator in Washington state

Sep 28, 2016

Hillary Clinton could be America's first female president, but for Washington state, another historic first is possible this year. 

Down in Vancouver, there’s a candidate who would be the first openly transgender member of the Washington State Legislature. Kaitlyn Beck is running for Position 1 in the 49th District. 

On why it’s important to have a transgender voice at the table in the Washington State Legislature: 

"I have a very strong understanding of the problems that transgender people face across Washington state and across the country. And being able to express that openly and then being able to take that to the legislature, where I can lend that voice for a community that hasn't had that before – it's going to have profound impact on the future of policy for transgender people."

On the right to use a bathroom or a locker room that matches your gender identity:

"I can appreciate that conservatives are wanting to protect women and children. Aren't we all? But on the flipside of that, we do have to take into account the damage that that would ultimately do to the transgender community if we ban transgender people from using the bathroom of their affirmed gender. I mean myself, I'm a very feminine person. If I had to use a men's restroom, I would be beaten. I would face physical harm, harassment, probably sexual harassment."

What if you don’t win?

"I did win 25 percent in the primary with very little campaign structure, very little social media exposure ... proof that transgender people have work to do to gain representation, but the barriers that we have in areas like think Vancouver and Seattle – they're not as big as we'd like to imagine them."