Texas Mayor Comes Out as State's First Openly Transgender Official

Jess Herbst, the mayor of a small town in Texas called New Hope, has done something truly remarkable – be true to herself!

Herbst has become the first openly transgender appointed official in the state of Texas after recently making the announcement about her gender transition publicly in an open letter to the town’s residents on its website.

“In May of 2016, I became your mayor…As your mayor,

I must tell you about something that has been with me

Since my earliest memories. I am Transgender.”

-           Excerpt from the Open Letter, newhopetx.gov

To speak your truth can be a challenging thing to do, especially in a small conservative town like New Hope in Collin County, TX. Per the 2015 census, New Hope has an estimated population of 639 and Collin County is one of the most suburban areas in Texas with Donald Trump winning by 17% in the general election. Fortunately for Jess, not only are her wife and daughters adamant supporters of her transition, but the reaction she has received to her news has been extremely positive.

In her letter, Herbst also revealed that she began Hormone Replacement Therapy two years ago, and although she maintained her once male persona until the end of 2016, she has been very open and understanding to the amount of time people may need to adjust.

“I’m not especially sensitive to the pronoun I’m called,

and I expect people to take time to make that change. I use

the name Jess, a simple change from Jeff.”       

-       Excerpt from the Open Letter, newhopetx.gov

Embracing your truth while being in such a high-profile position must be tough, but Jess Herbst did it, unapologetically. I, for one, am certainly proud of her and happy about the positive feedback she has received, especially in such a conservative town! Kudos to you Jess!


**Jess has documented her transition, the decision process, and her experiences as transgender at JessHerbst.com. 

                                Left: Jeff Herbst vacationing in Paris. Right: Jess Herbst vacationing in Madrid in 2016. 

                                Left: Jeff Herbst vacationing in Paris. Right: Jess Herbst vacationing in Madrid in 2016.