Colorado elects first openly transgender person to state Legislature

ARVADA, Colo. -- It was a call for which Brianna Titone had been waiting hours -- even days.

One of Colorado's closest races was finally decided Saturday afternoon as Republican candidate Vicky Pyne called Titone to congratulate Titone in the middle of her interview with FOX31.

Colorado House District 27, which covers part of the northwest Denver metro area, was ultimately decided by just 368 votes. However, the historical significance of the vote is far-reaching.

Brianna Titone is now the first openly transgender legislator in Colorado history.

"This is what I was waiting for," she said as she hung up the phone.

Titone says she chose not to focus on her gender identity while campaigning. Instead, she focused on the issues she's passionate about, especially education funding.

However, she admits the historical significance of her victory is a win for equal rights.

"While I was running to represent the district that I live in and fulfill the needs of those people, it was important to me to also represent trans people in Colorado and across the country," she said. "Being out as trans gives people carte blanche to say, 'I discriminate against you because you're different.' That's really the big distinction about being an openly trans person running for office, because I'm really putting myself out there with that vulnerability."

She says her opponent avoided attacks aimed at her gender identity, but she did receive some from people while campaigning.

"There were a couple of things that happened at doors where people said some mean things," she says. "But at the doors, people were pretty intent on talking about the issues, because that's what I focused on, to make sure I was there to find out what was important to them."

Titone has degrees in physics and geology, and believes her science background will be beneficial at the Colorado Capitol.

"So many people are not tuned into politics. They tune into federal politics, but not state politics. So, going to the door, talking to them, allows me to find out what people are really [needing] and what they want. And I told them our conversation at the door is not the last one we're going to have. We're going to have more in the future, and I welcome those conversations so I can figure out what we really need to do," she said.

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