'Woman of the Year': Trans-identified male lawmaker who advocates for child sex changes honored by USA Today

"It's a dramatic understatement to say that I am beyond honored to see my name among this list of honorees."

Mia Ashton Montreal QC

USA Today has honoured a trans-identified male who advocates for children to have access to experimental sex changes as Woman of the Year for the state of Minnesota.

Leigh Finke, who became the first transgender legislator appointed to the Minnesota House of Representatives in November, was selected as part of USA Today’s project to honor “local and national heroines who make a positive impact in their communities every day.”

Finke is a male who began presenting as a member of the opposite sex in 2017 and has since dedicated much time and energy to campaigning for transgender rights, with a focus, since becoming an elected official, on ensuring that minors have access to experimental and irreversible medical sex change procedures.

“It's a dramatic understatement to say that I am beyond honored to see my name among this list of honorees,” tweeted Finke. Fellow honorees include Nicola Mann, the first Native American woman in space, and the entire US women’s soccer team.

As several states follow the lead of European nations in ending the medical scandal of child sex changes, Finke sponsored a bill to make Minnesota a “trans refuge state.” This law would protect parents who travel to Minnesota seeking sex changes for their children from states where these experimental interventions have been outlawed for minors.

During a House Committee hearing for Finke’s bill, a trans-identified male testifying in support of it claimed to be the “mother of two wonderful transgender and gender-expansive children.” The adult male who transitioned later in life after becoming a parent testified to the importance of children having access to sex changes that could leave them infertile for life, calling such interventions “live-saving.”

In an interview with SC Times following being awarded Woman of the Year, Finke described being proud to be a role model for transgender youth.

“The people I hear the most from are parents of trans children,” said Finke, who went on to explain that parents often struggle to envision a future in which their child can thrive after undergoing a sex change.

Finke has taken on the role of being an inspiration to these parents, showing them that trans adults can be successful, happy and joyful.

“We just live our lives and win elections and do the same things everyone else does. But until you see someone doing that, it's hard to imagine it for your own kid,” said Finke.

According to SC Times, Finke has been “an activist for transgender and LGBTQ+ rights, as well as Black Lives Matter, almost [Finke’s] whole life.”

When asked what message Finke has for younger trans-identified males, Finke said, “I would tell them listen to yourself. The world can't tell you who you are. You know who you are, and you should be true to that.”

“Find people who see you and support you, and listen to them. Don't listen to the people who don't. Lots of people in this world do not want us here, so we need to find people who do.”

Finke concluded by suggesting that the fight for trans rights benefits everyone.

"Trans liberation is upward flowing, all liberation movements flow outwards. Everyone will benefit from it and it's worth committing yourself to.”

Finke’s Trans Refuge bill has yet to pass, but Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed an executive order last week to protect and support those seeking or receiving experimental medical sex change interventions in the state.


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