Mel Wymore’s quest to become the City Council’s first openly transgender member was derailed Tuesday when he was beaten by fellow Democrat Helen Rosenthal. “We set out to change the conversation around politics,” Wymore said in an email after the results were announced. “We came in a close second, but we accomplished a lot and inspired many.”
Labour Day 2004. Columbia University’s green laws shimmer in the heady heat. David Banks, 51, looks sharp if a little tired; he has been on the Ivy League campus for four hours already. He steps outside, away from the assorted crowd of celebrities, suited men and parents to speak on the phone with a member of his staff. “Are they en route?” he asks concerned. Ten minutes later the matriculating class of 2004 have arrived. The sound of “America, The Beautiful” waltzes lazily from under the fingers of the pianist as 100 men file importantly into the hall. Next to each distinguished man is a fourteen year-old black boy from the Bronx. This isn’t any ordinary matriculation and these students not your typical Columbia freshmen.