Jill Rose Quinn makes history as state’s first trans elected official
CHICAGO — Though it may have gotten lost with the other election news, Jill Rose Quinn made history when she was elected the first out transgender elected official in Illinois.
Quinn was elected to a judicial seat on the Cook County Circuit Court on Election Day. While trans people have been elected to party positions, she is the first to be elected to office.
Running as a Democrat, she did run unopposed in Democrat-dominated Cook County, but that didn’t lessen the excitement. “It’s a great feeling,” she told the Illinois Eagle.
Quinn said she was proud of being the first and the support she got from voters and the Democratic Party.
“I felt it was a real statement that I was included,” she said. That trans people, minority people and marginalized people were included.”
She’s also aware of those who came before who made it possible for her to get elected. “I know I’m standing on the shoulders of others coming before me and can offer my shoulders to those coming after me,” Quinn said.
She wants to be more visible and be a beacon for trans kids. She recounted parents of trans children coming up to her and express their hopes and fears for their kids.
“I want to be there for those parents and trans kids. To show them there’s a a place for them in the world if you step up and take it.”
She also said she looks forward to when being a trans elected official isn’t a big deal.
“To say I want a normal life is maybe trivializing it, but I want people to look at us and say you’re people,” Quinn said. “Don’t even mention the trans. We’re here, we’re part of society, we want to be included.”