US county elects first transgender judge

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Victoria Kolakowski has become the first trans person to be elected as a trial judge in the US.

She was elected as a superior court judge in Alameda County, California, beating deputy district attorney John Creighton with 51 to 48 per cent of the vote.

Ms Kolakowski has over 20 years of legal and judicial experience and currently serves as a judge for the California Public Utilities Commission.

She is also co-chair of the board of directors of the Transgender Law Centre and has represented trans plaintiffs in court.

During her campaign, she highlighted her trans history and said she would bring diversity to a bench which she claimed had too many white men.

She said earlier this year: “I believe that interacting with a transgender judge would help the other judges, court staff, police, district attorneys and the private bench to see people like me as respectable professionals and even colleagues, and not as ‘freaks’.

“Therefore I am passionate about blazing this trail for my community. I have been very fortunate to have a successful career as a public servant, and I feel an obligation to serve my community as a role model as well.”

Ms Kolakowski transitioned from male to female in 1989 and now lives with her wife, who she married in June 2008 on the first day gay marriage was legal in California.