For the first time, Florida’s delegation to the Democratic National Convention will include an openly transgender individual.
Monica DePaul is a University of North Florida adjunct professor, a Bernie Sanders supporter, and now the state’s first openly transgender delegate. She believes public officials should reflect the country.
“People in high positions of power start looking very, very similar to one another. And that’s not the same as how the rest of America actually looks. It just isn’t,” she said.
But diversity is more than gender identity or skin color, she says.
“You can’t just take things at face value. Because then you end up with bathroom bills. Then you end up with trickle-down economics. Then you end up with people in debt for the rest of their lives. And I’d say that’s the other reason why I want to be a delegate. I want to help fix what’s been keeping everybody down,” she said.
Terry Fleming is the president of the Florida LGBTA Democratic Caucus, and he says this is an important step for the party and the state.
“When the public hears stories from the transgender community, they learn that they’re folks just like anybody else, people that you work alongside, live alongside,” he said.
DePaul and 246 other Florida delegates will head to the convention in Philadelphia this July.