Aside from being a vocal LGBTQ activist, the Providence, RI resident serves as a minister at the Pilgrim United Church of Christ in nearby New Bedford, Massachusetts, Reduxx reports.
"The Rhode Island Democratic Women’s Caucus has elected the Rev. Dr. Donnie Anderson as their new Chair," the group wrote in a statement, making sure to note the fact that Anderson is a transgender woman.
On their website, the RIDWC states that their mission is to "impact government and political processes in order to ensure equality in power, influence, and economic status for those who identify as and with women." They are not affiliated with the Democrats, though one must be a member of the party to join.
They explain that in addition to the political requirements, in order to be a voting member, one "must be a person who identifies as a woman or non-binary person using they or she series pronouns." Anyone identifying as a male or using male pronouns can join as an "associate member," a title that does not come with voting privileges.
The previous chair stepped down to give birth, and following a brief interim period, the decision was made to choose a new leader. Anderson was the only one to submit an application to run.
As the Providence Journal reports, prior to the election Anderson pleaded with members to choose Anderson as their next leader in order to "make a statement to the world about my community," but went on to say, "I don't want you to vote for me because I am transgender."
According to Reduxx, Anderson's gender transition has only gone as far as hormone replacement therapy and cross dressing, though even that was too much for Anderson's now ex-wife.
In an interview, she explained that when her ex-husband "came out," she could not stop crying, and left the house. She, along with two of the couple's four children, were impacted to such an extent that they had to seek therapy. The marriage eventually fell apart and they went their separate ways after more than two decades together.
Anderson, on the other hand, publicly proclaimed that he felt good about the whole situation. "Freedom is never cheap," Anderson said. "There is always a price."
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