Florida. The state always has some fun news that will either make you giggle, wonder, or praise the people. This time it is the third category. According to Advocate, a trans activist in Florida is trying to make an impactful change in the country. She aims to become the first-ever transgender voice in the country’s legislature.
Melina Rayna Svanhild Farley-Barratt
Living in Gilchrist County, since the past nine years, Farley-Barratt seems to have luckily found more love and acceptance from the community. It cannot have been easy to do things of this stature, if not for this.
This inspiring transgender woman, Melina Rayna Svanhild Farley-Barratt decided to run for the State’s senate seat and filed her nomination this week. The city of Tallahassee knows the woman for having served as the legislative director for the National Organization for Women, Florida Chapter. According to Florida Politics.
Forget reaching different positions within the political systems of a state, but even being taken seriously or learning the skills that allow her to get to that stature is worth an applaud.
She told The Advocate, “I know rural North Florida gets a lot of fear from city folks,” . And that she saw a socially liberal undercurrent in Gilchrist County “in terms of it being more accepting”, saying that “even if policies don’t indicate as much.”
Farley-Barratt also told that she’s wanted to run for elected office for a long time.
And not just lobby officials. Luckily for her, the place she lives right now has an open Senate seat. This also came along with the right time. We talk about diversity, inclusivity and LGBTQ+ progressive laws and sections each day. And this would be a perfect moment that empowers the community movement. Transgenders everywhere are often discriminated against and treated with condescension or dismissal.
When there’s a representative of a community on the team, it helps promote and ensure equal opportunities, choices, and rights. A powerful representative voice can help emancipate an entire community.
Farley-Barrette also told The Advocate that “It’s been a progression”. She added, “Right now is a great time. I think in two years it will be better.”
Like most State senators, Farley-Barratt ensured she spoke about the local issues first. She discussed on her platform a range of issues that affects Florida today. Whether it is the toll road proposed through North Florida or environmental threats in local waters.
One Step At A Time
Farley-Barratt will be the second transgender candidate if she gets on the ballot as a candidate next year. The first one was the 2018 House candidate Alanis Garcia. Farley-Barrette would technically be the second candidate to qualify for a legislative race in the state. But she is still the first to ever run for state Senate. And hopefully, history will not repeat itself and maybe a transgender woman would win a legislative office this year.
Either way, even she knows that her gender identity will be a topic that pops up now and then. And strategically using it to her advantage, she plans to create importance around the value of diversity of all kinds, especially in collegial bodies like the legislature.
Here’s her creative metaphor for the same. “When a hammer is your only solution, every problem looks like a nail”. And “That’s why it’s important to have many different people, a different tool in the toolbox for every problem.”
Finally, she’s running in a heavily Republican area. And she is most likely to compete with Jennifer Bradley, the wife of retiring Sen. Rob Bradley, in the upcoming election. Even though that is sure to be challenging, Farley-Barratt said she hopes to find a pathworking a geographically large part of Florida.