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We Californians love to be first, just try driving down the freeway and you will see what I mean.  While voters did not approve Proposition 19 which would have legalized pot, making us the first state to do so, we have elected the nation’s first transgender Superior Court Trial Judge.

As reported in LGBTQNation.com , Victoria Kolakowski, who is 49, was elected in Alameda County as a new judge.

Victoria Kolakowski

In an interview with student journalist Alexa Sasanow of The Tuft’s Daily newspaper, Kolakowski said:

“The trans thing isn’t the first thing I talk about.  I talk about my experience, things I’ve done as a lawyer, things I want to do as a judge, and when there’s time, I say something about being transgender.  It’s not what I lead with, and a lot of people don’t know.  I’m not hiding it, but it’s one of the things that is difficult when you’re running a race; how do you address this issue? You don’t want to be hiding something about who you are, if you’re out, but you also don’t want to say, ‘Vote for me. I’m wearing a rainbow flag.”

Kolakowski was part of a group of transgender candidates across the nation that was recently profiled in the New York Times, and she cited some of the online comments on the article as indicative of a culture of homophobia and transphobia that still exists in the United States in many forms.

While I don’t know Ms. Kolakowski and Alameda is not the county in which I assist attorneys at this time, I think she will bring some great life lessons into the courtroom with her.  I would love to hear from paralegals and their attorneys in Alameda on their thoughts  about this election and on Ms. Kolakowski herself.

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