I don't personally know Stacie Laughton, who was elected as N.H.'s first openly-transgender political candidate, winning a race in Nashua for State Representative on November 6th. She won't be accepting the position in light of some incidents in her past, which I won't go into.
But I have seen her many public comments and interviews since her election, since she made national — international — news with her win, and from what I see she handled the spotlight well, and with courage. She sounded like she would be a legislator who would put her time in politics on the way people are treated in and by government, focusing on the budget, education, and social issues. That's what all of our leaders should do.
Being “first” in anything puts one in a not-always welcome role of having to face up to criticism, often undeserving. From what I can note from the way Stacie has handled the firestorm of the past three or four days, she will be an even stronger person because of all of it.
And the fact remains that she has inspired many other transgender and questioning youth, and that is so very important. That she won, and then handled herself so well, helped the lives of unknown many, and she should take comfort in that. And thanked for doing so.
I have often said that Governor John Lynch saved lives by his public and proud signing of the Civil Unions bill on May 30, 2007, and then House Bill 436 for gay marriage on June 3, 2009. Seeing pictures or video or reading a story about a popular governor saying that it's okay to be gay, as many millions of people throughout the nation and the world saw on those days, gave a positive message to anyone who during that time might have been bullied, or faced problems at home, and considered ending it all.
Stacie Laughton won't be a N.H. State Representative when newly elected legislators are sworn in next week. But she sure did a lot to help people anyway, and that is a credit to any human being. Many of us hope things will go well for her in this adventure of life.