Kristal Larson becomes first transgender person elected to nonjudicial office in Illinois

Kristal Larson declared victory in her race for Avon Township clerk. She will be the first transgender person elected to a nonjudicial office, as well as the second openly transgender person elected in the state. Despite the win being historic, Larson commented that her gender identity was a "footnote" compared to the rest of her campaign.

"We've been working to bring some sanity to Avon Township for a very long time," she said. "This was about the people of Avon, and not about me."

via Chicago Tribune

Larson found herself at the center of some expected, but disappointing, controversy due to a political flyer.

…a flyer went out that "deadnamed" her. Deadnaming is when somebody uses the name by which a transgender person was identified before they transitioned or came out, either accidentally or intentionally disregarding their new name.

The flyer, which made reference to her previous name, and made a series of statements about Larson and her history, was mailed out to homes in the community by Wilke's Avon Community Engaged political organization.

via Chicago Tribune

Larson was furious when the news broke, stating that Wilke was aware of her name.

"He's been there for the entire journey. There's no way he didn't know what my legal name was," she said. "He should have known better."

via Chicago Tribune

Due to the controversy, Terry Wilke resigned from his role in the committee, offering to sponser "Safe Zone training" in a letter to board members.

"It is important to me that Lake County remains welcoming and inclusive space for all people, especially the LGBTQ+ community," the letter said.

"I was not aware of (deadnaming) being a thing, or being offensive in any way," he said.

via Chicago Tribune