Stewart “Stu” Rasmussen, the first openly transgender person to serve as mayorOn Nov. 19, he died in a U.S. city. He was aged 73.
Rasmussen, a self-described “gender anarchist” who used both he/him and she/her pronouns, is survived by her wife, Victoria Sage. In this article, HuffPost uses both sets pronouns.
Kyle Palmer, who is the current mayor of Silverton, Oregon, confirmed his predecessor’s death in a lengthy Facebook postLast week. Palmer stated that Rasmussen was receiving hospice care at home for metastatic prostatectomy for several weeks.
“He set an example for members of our community who needed to see that it was safe to live their lives openly in our community,” Palmer wrote. “I’m comforted in the knowledge that he is no longer in pain.”
News of Rasmussen’s death prompted condolences from friends, LGBTQ advocates and lawmakers alike on social media.
The Democrat rose to prominence in 1988 when he was first elected as mayor of Silverton ― located about 15 miles east of Oregon’s capital, Salem ― and served two terms. She was reelected in 2008After coming out as transgender publicly.
International media covered his campaign and later, was protestedBy the Westboro Baptist Church known for their anti-LGBTQ beliefs.
Rasmussen won her victory. described the campaign as “a very positive experience.”
“The town has embraced me as their native son,” he told local news outlet KLCCIt was at that time. “And I think the election results kind of show that.”
Rasmussen’s story was memorably captured for posterity in “Stu for Silverton,” a 2013 musical that was produced in Seattle and New York. 2018. Playbill reported that the musical was “Broadway-aimed,” though it has not yet been staged in a Broadway theater.
In addition to her political career, Rasmussen was the co-owner of Silverton’s Palace Cinema from 1974 to 2020. He is a successful businessman. described himselfHe was socially progressive, but conservative in fiscal matters. This often led to him being at odds with his town council.
“Change is not necessarily progress,” Rasmussen told the Statesman JournalIn 2015, after leaving office for six years. “This town is really good at being a small town. It has charm, it has character, and you don’t want to destroy that.”