This month on the Bucket List Community cafe podcast, our Mimi Herrick speaks to Rep. Brianna Titone about her journey, working in the state legislature and trans activism. You can listen below or on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.
Titone was elected in 2019 to Colorado House District 27 in Arvada and became the first openly transgender person in the state legislature. But entering politics was not originally in Titone’s plans. In fact, she was a geological consultant before getting elected. Titone decided to run for HD-27 because a member of the Colorado Democratic Party asked her to.
“I never said I’m going to be a politician one day,” Titone said. “I was the type of person who wanted to get into a career where I got things done, and I was going to try to change things.”
Titone knew that she was different very early on in her life after watching a TV special where a transgender person was featured. Taboos kept Titone from discovering her true identity until she was much older. At 37, after arriving in Colorado and finding an accepting community, Titone felt like she could unapologetically be herself.
“[Just] being in a public space, not just with [my friends], and still feeling like, yeah, you know, no one was harassing me, nobody’s yelling things at me, I’m just existing in this space. And it feels like I could do this,” Titone said.
Recently, there has been an increase in anti-trans legislative proposals across the nation. Transgender people in sports, gender-affirming care, and those teaching children about LGBTQ+ identities have all been targeted. According to the Trevor Project, two in three LGBTQ+ young people said that hearing about potential bans worsened their mental health.
“Just talking about it is stressing people out. And it’s making people’s lives really difficult. Even in our own state, where we have all of these protections,” Titone said.
Listen to the podcast here, and on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.