BURLINGTON, Vt. — A man who identifies as a woman has won the Democratic gubernatorial primary in Vermont, becoming the first “transgender” person in the United States to be nominated for governor.
David Hallquist, who goes by the name Christine, identifies as a progressive and is the former CEO of the Vermont Electric Cooperative. Born a man and married to a woman, he began presenting himself as a woman in 2015 after dealing with depression and suicidal thoughts in being unhappy with his birth sex.
Hallquist, 62, says that he sought to become active in politics following the 2016 presidential election.
“November 8, 2016, I realized the world changed,” he told the Guardian. “I went to bed, and of course, like any other trauma I was in political depression and I just didn’t know what to do. I mean, many of us in this country shed a lot of tears for what happened on November 8.”
Deciding to run for governor, Hallquist had three competitors: environmental activist James Ehlers, dance festival organizer Brenda Siegel, and 14-year-old Ethan Sonneborn. He has run on issues such as improving the economy, as well as internet access, in rural areas, increasing the minimum wage, fighting climate change and using renewable energy.
Hallquist won the primaries on Tuesday with 48 percent of the vote, compared to 22 percent for Ehlers, 21 percent for Siegel and 8 percent for Sonneborn.
Following the win, the New York Times asked Hallquist what he felt the outcome meant for those who identify as “transgender.”
“I think it is all about widening our nation’s moral compass to be more inclusive,” he replied, “and I’m certainly proud and honored to be that national leader. But of course in Vermont it’s all about, what do we do to improve the lives of Vermont citizens? And the good news about Vermont is we’ve already been leaders in civil rights, so this was obviously not an issue for people.”
Hallquist said that only one person mentioned his gender identity on the campaign trail.
However, some who have since learned of Hallquist’s win have expressed concern, leaving remarks under reports such as “God help us,” “The whole world laughs at us,” and “How have we come so quickly to this point in America?”
Hallquist will run against incumbent Republican Governor Rick Scott in November.
Scripture states in Deuteronomy 22:5, “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment.” The Geneva Study Bible adds in its commentary, “For that alters the order of nature, and shows that you despise God.”