Victoria Kolakowski

Victoria Kolakowski has become the first openly transgender person to be elected as a judge in the US.

Kolakowski (49) was elected by voters to the bench of the Alameda County Superior Court in California. She defeated rival John Creighton 51 to 48 percent.

In addition to her law degree, Kolakowski also has a degree in Electrical Engineering and a Masters in Biomedical Engineering.

She underwent gender re-assignment surgery in 1991 and is married to Cynthia Laird, news editor of the Bay Area Reporter newspaper.

Kolakowski told the Reporter that, despite her win, she was disappointed about the way her campaign has been reported on.

“If you look at the election coverage from the San Francisco Chronicle and Oakland Tribune it makes it sound like I ran as the transgender candidate in the race. That is not why people voted for me and not why people didn’t vote for me,” said Kolakowski.

“People made their decisions based on who they thought had the best experience and was the best fit for the job.”

Nevertheless, she accepted that she was a role model, telling WAFB: “Of course whenever one’s the first person to do something you become a role model representative and a role model.

“The problem with being a role model is on the one hand a role model is great because it can be inspiring to people on the other hand there is a responsibility that goes with that that I take very seriously.”

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