Transgender candidate could become a first in NYC

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 18, 2013 at 11:15 am •  Published: June 18, 2013
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Yet the "exuberance" from childhood slipped away around puberty. At 35, Wymore reached a conclusion about why — and came out as a lesbian.

As a decade went by, Wymore still felt joy was missing and didn't know the reason until seeing a recorded interview with a transgender boy during an anti-bullying event about five years ago. Wymore looked at the boy and saw himself.

"It suddenly hit me that it was gender that was at the core" of Wymore's unease, he said in an interview in his campaign office in a brownstone. "And, of course, it terrified me at the same moment because I'd already been through this family-disrupting, life-changing transition."

He ultimately decided to undertake surgical and other changes to live as a man. After telling his family, the newly chosen chairman made an announcement of a sort rarely, if ever, heard at community boards.

The response was accepting, he and a colleague recall. "People knew him before and knew what kind of person he was," member Madge Rosenberg explains.

But there were some alienating moments during Wymore's roughly two-year transition. At times he sensed other people's awkwardness as they stumbled over whether to use "he" or "she," or felt hurt when a women's book group stopped inviting him for fear of seeming to dismiss his identity shift.

The experience made him more determined to advocate for the disabled, the elderly and others who feel overlooked — in other words, everybody, Wymore says.

After all, "everyone feels excluded some time or another, for some thing or another," he said.

Wymore's opponents include Green Party candidate Tom Siracuse and several Democrats: restaurant executive Ken Biberaj; Democratic Committeewoman Debra Cooper; Noah Gotbaum, founder of the volunteer group New York Cares and a son of a prominent labor leader and stepson of a former city public advocate; Democratic district leader Marc Landis; and former community board chairwoman Helen Rosenthal. The Democratic primary is in September, and the general election is in November.

No one, contender or constituent, mentioned Wymore's personal story at the recent candidate forum. And that's just as he'd like.

"For me, it's really about the work at hand," he says.

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Follow Jennifer Peltz at http://twitter.com/jennpeltz


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