There is an interesting fight brewing in Silverton, Oregon. The people of Silverton received national attention with the election of Stu Rasmussen, the nation’s first openly transgender mayor. Now, however, a complaint has been filed against Rasmussen who showed up in a swim top and miniskirt to meet with local kids. A parent has charged that Rasmussen showed “too much skin” while Rasmussen insists that it was too “hot and sticky” to wear anything else.
Brenda Sturdevant filed the complaint alleging the city dress code was violated when Rasmussen wore “high heels, a very short skirt and some sort of halter top revealing much of his bosom, shoulders and back.” She notes that the city dress code lists mini skirts and midrift tank tops as “inappropriate” attire for council activities. A nice summer dress or pants suit is always appropriate on such occasions. Perhaps a tasteful kilt? Yet, a Utah school recently declared a kilt to be crossdressing.
Dress codes have often been the subject of contention in court and government buildings. Such codes enforce majoritarian views of proper style. Usually the standards are quite low — eliminating saddles, shorts etc. Tank tops are also routinely referenced. The Sturdevant complaint takes a broad view of what constitutes “council activities.” Clearly, any mayor would be unwise to appear in such an outfit — regardless of gender. Given his pioneering and commendable accomplishment in securing this office, Rasmussen could have shown more judgment in such displays. The question is whether this is poor style sense as opposed to a disciplinary offense.
In his campaign literature, Rasmussen offers the following:
If you just stumbled on this site you may be asking yourself “Is this guy for real?” or “Is that really a guy?”
I’m Stu Rasmussen. I own and operate several small businesses in Silverton, Oregon. I have also served 20 years as an elected official in local government, as City Councilor, Mayor and member of the Silver Falls Library board. I am currently completing my third 4-year term on the Silverton City Council.
Now I’m running for Mayor of Silverton (population 9,588). It’s a position I have already been elected to twice before – in 1988 and 1990.
I just happen to be transgendered – something I didn’t even know the word for until I discovered it on the Internet. I’ve been a crossdresser or transvestite my whole life, only ‘coming out’ recently and thereby discovering that life goes on very nicely.
There is a report that he is now set for his own reality show, here.
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