Paula Overby, first transgender congressional candidate, leaves DFL in protest

Paula Overby
Last summer, Paula Overby told us about her plans to become the first transgender person to represent Minnesota in the U.S. House. She spoke of social justice and inclusion and made it known that the DFL best encompassed those ideals.

But at the district convention, on April 26, she withdrew her nomination before the first ballots were announced. Five weeks later, she resigned from the party in protest.

See also:
Eagan's Paula Overby plans to be the state's first transgender candidate for Congress

And just this week, when we called to ask her why, she argued that the DFL is controlled by a few powerful people who cater to the interests of the middle-class white male. "It excludes the majority of Americans," she says.

So what changed? Overby spent the past year working on the party's outreach and inclusion committee, which she now describes as a "glass ceiling." The final break came at the state convention in Duluth. On the last day, the minority caucuses were scheduled to speak and present reports, but at the last minute were told they couldn't.

Overby took this as a sign of the party's hypocrisy, but Frank Brown, who co-chairs the DFL's African American caucus, says he takes "strong contention" with that interpretation of events. There were not enough delegates left in attendance for a quorum, so the presentations were moved to another gathering, set for August 16. "Officials in the DFL apologized," he says, "but those are the rules."

Overby still has her supporters within the DFL. Shirlynn LaChapelle, a delegate who's "not drinking the Kool-Aid," tells us that Overby's criticism of the party is spot on. "I see a lot of promises in election time," LaChapelle says. "After election time, I see nothing. What they're not realizing is that the public is starting to looking at (Dems and Republicans) as no different than the other."

In June, Overby secured the Independence Party endorsement for the 2nd Congressional District and shed what she considers to be the conformist expectations of the DFL. In the IP, it's less about specific issues than core values -- which frees her up to say what she wants and be who she wants without fear of upsetting the bosses.

"The most important voice in the room is the dissenting opinion," she says.

-- Send story tips to the author or follow him on Twitter @marxjesse

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Paula. The DFL African American Caucus is the most ass-backwards group of political hacks you'll ever run into (only second to the MNGOP). Keep pushing ahead. 

MicheleBachmann topcommenter

Do you think the number of minorities that voted for the IP in 2010 even cracks triple digits?     I would bet their share of the vote was as white as the Republican Party.  I'm sure it sucked not being able to give a speech but throwing a tantrum and calling the political party that passed gay marriage a bunch of white supremacists seems like an overreaction.    Hmong and Somali people vote for the DFL.  That's because the DFL knows how to do outreach with groups of new Minnesotans.   The IP seems really good at attracting old white guys.   Wonder where they do their outreach?  

TheConservativeJerk topcommenter

One of the attacks on transgender people, especially transgender women, is the traditional radical feminist notion of biological determinism, which interprets humans and human life from a strictly biological point of view -- holding that biology is destiny. Their view that women's inferiority is based on their biology and that men are the enemy, is a reverse image of patriarchal hatred of women. The basis of radical feminism is to see men as the problem, painting women as the natural victims of men. If women are oppressed specifically because of the reproductive organs they are born with, rather than a deeper social-economic source of gender inequality, then transwomen can't be part of the club. Accepting the sisterhood of non-biological females challenges the very basis of radical feminism. The feminists claim the "TVs don't get to use women's rights as their own."

The trans-exclusive radical feminists (“TERFs”) are a interesting bunch.  

Look up #TERF on Twitter.  

barbertj23 topcommenter

Have you ever said the phrase: "Don't drink the Kool-aid"?

Your opinion can be safely ignored.


@TheConservativeJerk Transgender people believe in biological determinism.  We definitely believe that our gender is determined by biology and therefore rather immutable to gender therapy.  Where we differ from radical feminist determinism is that we also believe women have a brain which is also part of biology.  There is a lot more to gender than what lies at the juncture.  Feminist determinism is a political position.


See also: anything involving "sheeple".

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