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Brianna Titone is Colorado’s first transgender woman elected to the Colorado House of Representatives, representing the 27th District.

“I knew I was very qualified, and I could speak about the issues well and communicate those things, but I just figured my identity made it impossible for me to be elected,” Titone said. “Then when I saw Danica Roem win her election in 2017, that opened the door for me to the possibility that I could win.”

At 16, she became a volunteer firefighter and won an award for her outstanding effort. Titone took that passion for public service even further when she attempted to become an FBI agent. Though she ultimately didn’t make it through, she still wanted to find a way to get involved in the government. Politics felt like a good fit.

So, she began pursuing political activism. She was elected as a delegate at the County Assembly for Bernie Sanders in 2016 and elected secretary and treasurer of the LGBTQ Caucus in August of 2017.

“My heart has always been with the community,” she told OUT FRONT.

“The situation we had in the federal government, Trump and Pence taking it out on the LGBTQ community—I wasn’t going to stand there and let that happen,” she said. “As someone who stands up for my community and people that I want to protect, [running] made sense to me, the next logical step to take.”

The campaign was about the community she lives in, Titone said, not just the LGBTQ community or her trans identity. She had to prove to everyone in the community that she would represent their interests.

“I think it’s important getting people that are often forgotten about some say in what really goes on, making sure that they’re not behind everyone else,” Titone said. “When there are bills that are going to come before me, I’m going to think about the people that might be affected that they’re not thinking about or have considered.”

As an elected official, Titone is offering an alternative to celebrity role models, who are often the only ones queer people have. Celebrities are sort of their own category, Titone said, while politicians are just regular people who want to do something good for the community.

“When I was growing up, trans people were a joke. And that was a big fear of mine, being a joke to everyone,” she said. “When you’re an elected official and people give you the opportunity to be a leader, I think that’s a major shift in the norm. People have told me that they’re so happy that their kid growing up has someone to look up to, and it’s not an actor or someone like that, but someone who’s actually doing the work of the people.”

Titone is willing to put in the work to give more children across the country officials of whom they can be proud.

“Danica Roem helped me, and I’m willing to help other people that step up to the plate to do it,” she said. “As long as you have the skills to do your work, then you should be accepted in your community.”

Photo provided by Brianna Titone