Olivia Hill made history last Thursday by being the first openly trans politician to be elected to Nashville’s Metro Council. According to the LGBTQ+ Victory Fund, she is also the first out trans candidate to be elected anywhere in Tennessee.
According to her campaign website, Hill is a Nashville native and Navy veteran. She’s spent 36 years in the engineering industry, rising from various roles to the Senior Supervisor of Vanderbilt University’s power plant. Olivia is also a community leader, advocating for women and the LGBTQ+ community.
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After her win, Hill stated this was “for every trans kid in the state of Tennessee that has felt discomfort or that they didn’t belong … We are valid.” She continued, “We are who we say we are. And we are going to move forward.”
Hill says her priority for her term is to “get to work and to fix the broken parts of Nashville” including improving infrastructure, utilities, and public transportation.
In a statement prior to her win, Hill said, “My expertise is fixing things, and while my focus for my native city is repairing Nashville’s outdated infrastructure, I also want to ensure that Nashville is represented with true diversity in a state where the ruling party thinks I should head to the closet.”
Annise Parker, president of the LGBTQ+ Victory Fund, which endorsed Hill, celebrated Hill’s victory.
“Nashville voters clearly reject the hateful rhetoric that has grown louder in Tennessee politics lately,” Parker said in a statement. “Olivia’s victory proves that transgender people belong everywhere decisions about them are being made, including local office.”
In the previous year, a total of over 400 openly LGBTQ candidates achieved victories in their respective elections, with the majority affiliating with the Democratic party. These numbers exceeded the previous records set in 2020, which saw 336 victories, and in 2018, which saw 244 victories, as reported by the LGBTQ+ Victory Fund.