Lisa Middleton

The Palm Springs City Council Is Now 100% Queer

"I was judged in this city by the content of my character," says newly elected trans councilwoman Lisa Middleton. "By the work that I've done in this community."

With the election of Lisa Middleton and Christy Holstege, the Palm Springs City Council is now an all-LGBT team.

Middleton made history on Tuesday as the first transgender person elected to non-judicial office in California. Christy Holstege, who identifies as bisexual, won the other vacant city council seat.

“It makes me incredibly proud of my city. I was judged in this city by the content of my character, by the work that I’ve done in this community,” said Middleton. “We’re going to have a progressive city council, one that is focused on the future, one that is a problem-solving city council.”

She and Holstege were running for two open seats, as longtime council members Chris Mills and Ginny Foat chose not to seek re-election. Only about 8,350 people voted, a number of them via mail-in ballots, according to the Desert Sun. Middlton and Holstege will join openly gay councilmembers Geoff Kors and J.R. Roberts. on the council in December.

Palm Springs has long been a popular gay vacation spot, but it also has a conservative streak: Republican Sonny Bono was mayor from 1988 to 1992.

In 2011, a police sting of a cruising area in Warm Sands that saw 19 men arrested was criticized for evidence of entrapment and bias—and the fact that no straight people had been arrested for similar behavior. The judge in the case, David Downing, later was quoted as saying he wouldn’t read the motions of a particular defendant because the man had HIV.

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.