Two years after Taylor Small’s run for office, she looks back on her journey to being the first openly transgender lawmaker in Vermont history.
Small wasn’t planning on getting into politics at the young age of 25 and made the decision to run for office only a day after a phone call from then-incumbent Diana Gonzalez.
“She called to say she was planning on stepping down from her position and asked if I’d ever thought about running,” Small said.
Small responded by saying she’d think about it and get back to her sometime the following week while Gonzalez had other plans.
“She said ‘How about tomorrow?’ so in a very nice way she was telling me you have 24 hours,” Small said.
In those 24 hours Small consulted her closest friends and family and ultimately made the decision to run. She hasn’t looked back since.
“I have found just a deep love for policy work and especially representing Winooski in the statehouse,” Small said.
Gonzalez later served as Small’s treasurer during her campaign.
Small’s election to the Vermont House of Representatives made history. She is one of eight openly trans lawmakers elected in the United States during the 2020 elections and is dedicated to representing the Winooski and the LGBTQIA communities.
There is one bill in particular that Small is excited to have sponsored this year: a way for Vermonters to amend their birth certificates to accurately represent their gender identity.
“One thing that people might not know is that if you’re looking to amend your gender marker on your birth certificate it’s actually a complicated process,” Small said.
This process requires court orders, letters from psychiatrists and medical care providers as well as a lot of time and money, she said.
Small has collaborated with the LGBTQIA Alliance of Vermont and the Department of Health to write the bill. It would also allow individuals to use a gender X marker or nonspecific gender marker, similar to the option for driver’s licenses.
Small is hopeful that the bill will be passed and believes it will benefit many Vermonters navigating the process of amending their birth certificates.