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08 November 2011

Althea Garrison (1940 - ) elected official, state employee.

Garrison was born in Hihira, Georgia, and moved to Boston, Massachusetts as a teenager. He went to Beauty Culture School when he arrived in Boston, then to Newbury Junior College, Suffolk University for a degree in administration, Lesley University for a graduate degree in management and then Harvard in 1984 for a certificate of special studies in administration.

Garrison transitioned and became Althea in 1976. She worked for the Massachusetts Department of Revenue and then the Office of the Comptroller. Later she was the vice president of the Uphams Corner Health Center in Dorchester, Boston.

In 1982 and 1986 she ran for the Massachusetts State House as a Democrat. In 1991 she ran for the Boston City Council. In 1992 she was elected as a Republican State Representative, and was outed by the Murdoch-owned Boston Herald a few days after the campaign by columnist Eric Fehrnstrom. As a representative she consistently voted pro-union, and was endorsed for re-election by the AFL-CIO and eight unions. On other issues she more frequently voted with the Democrats than with her own party. However she was defeated by the Democratic candidate in 1994.

She would seem to be the first trans person to be elected at the state level or above in the US.
However she denies that she was ever a transsexual, and refuses all questions about her personal background. She has appealed for the GLBT vote on the grounds that she is a black woman, but never on the grounds that she is trans. She has also run for mayor and other offices more than 15 times, but with no other success. She has been opposed to gay marriages, and has called for the judges who ruled in its favor to be removed from the bench. She was allied with the anti-gay-rights and anti-transsexual group MassResistance.
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lezbeehonest said...

If, in fact, Garrison was born a male and is now female, and has since allied with an anti-trans organization, I think its pathetic. Its unfortunate that people have to be closeted or choose to be closeted about their sexuality or gender status, but its disgusting to be gay or transgendered and fight against LGBT causes and organizations.

Unknown said...

I wonder if Miss Garrison is intersex, not transgender. That might explain the "medical condition" cited on her name-change petition, and it might also explain why her birth certificate lists her as male. While not common, it isn't unheard of for intersex individuals to be a little more socially conservative. Because it's a complicated subject, it doesn't surprise me that Miss Garrison avoids talking about it in interviews.

Zagria said...

Quite a lot of trans persons claim, often falsely, to be intersex, apparently thinking that this absolves them from resposibility for their own life choices. However the majority of intersex persons do not change gender - they stay with the gender of rearing.

I do not think that Garrison is at all intersex. However even if she were it would not change the moral implications of her actions.

agnosticnixie said...

For one, extremely few intersex people who transition would actually claim to not be trans, because most are aware of how these things are dealt with (the standard medical treatment for Kleinfeler, for one, is testosterone, not freedom to self-identify and female-identified people with Kleinfelter's are a minority)