Arienne Childrey, 40, is running to be the first transgender member of the Ohio legislature.
“If you’re going to attack our communities, then you’re gonna have to compete against someone from our community,” Childrey told the Ohio Capital Journal. She’s running against Angela King, a state representative who sponsored a drag ban and supported anti-trans bills.
King was one of the lead sponsors of House Bill 245, which aims to ban drag performances outside of “adult venues.” Those violating the law could face criminal charges. Childrey organized a protest against the bill. King also supported a bill that aims to ban gender-affirming care for minors and would bar trans girls from playing on girls sports teams in schools.
This is Childrey’s first run for elected office. She is the founder of Northwest Ohio Trans Advocacy and has lived in Ohio since 2014. She is originally from Virginia.
“It’s well past time that we’ve got somebody who goes to the statehouse who’s actually interested in dealing with those issues — issues that actually impact people that can help our lives — rather than somebody who’s more focused on who they can hurt rather than who they can help,” Childrey told the Capital Journal. “You should have representation that actually cares about your day-to-day life and people that are actually working to make things better. Together, we can actually make some real change one step at a time.”
According to her campaign website, Childrey is “committed to being accessible to our constituents, so that together we can make a real difference in our district, and state.”
Childrey spoke to the Capitol Journal about her transition at age 34. “I know what gender-affirming care is for me. I know that it was lifesaving. I know the years that I wasted … before I transitioned. … I’ve never regretted my transition.”
“The only thing that could possibly make me more happy than being the first trans woman elected in the state of Ohio is to not be the only trans person elected in the state of Ohio,” she added.
The primary election is March 19.