Dylan Tippetts has said he hopes his election will “dial down hate and division” after becoming Plymouth’s first openly trans councillor.
The 21-year-old is Labour’s first councillor in the city’s Compton Ward.
Speaking to the PA news agency, Mr Tippetts said he is “still in shock”, adding: “I didn’t think I was going to win the seat last night.
“If I can help someone realise that trans people are just normal human beings like everyone else, with the same hopes and dreams, (and) just help dial down some of the real hate and division at the moment, that would be incredible.
“It would be even more of an honour to show a young person who might be scared of coming out that everything’s going to be OK and everything that they want in life can come true.”
Dylan Tippetts highlighted the ‘real hate’ being directed towards trans people (Dylan Tippetts/PA)
He added that trans people should be respected “as the human beings that we are”.
“Being treated as a normal person (is) refreshing in today’s toxic environment… trans people aren’t looking for special treatment.”
Plymouth Sutton and Devonport Labour MP Luke Pollard said he is “so proud” of Mr Tippetts.
He tweeted: “As our city’s first ever openly gay MP, I am simply over the moon.
“Now the hard work really begins.”
So proud of @Dylan4Compton becoming the first ever Labour councillor for Compton Ward and Plymouth’s first ever tra… https://t.co/PiqdW21P8O— Luke Pollard MP (@Luke Pollard MP) 1651825853
Mr Tippetts grew up in Bridgwater, Somerset, and came out in 2018.
He told PA he moved to Plymouth shortly afterwards for a “fresh start, as coming out wasn’t the best experience for me”.
He said he is “proud” to represent a party with a “positive vision” for the city, adding that residents have been “ignored and taken for granted for far too long”.
He said he hopes to address concerns about the cost-of-living crisis, as well as to give a “voice” to those who do not have one.
“There are lots of people that don’t have a voice – whether it be nurses, young people, porters, kitchen cleaners, taxi drivers – and I want to stand up for those people and make sure that they’re actually listened to, because everyone has an equal and valuable contribution to make,” he said.
“For me, it’s bigger than just promoting equality and diversity in terms of trans people. It’s promoting the amazing diversity that we’ve got across our city in all walks of life.”
Thank you to all the people in Compton ward who put their trust in me to be your new Councillor. I feel so honoured… https://t.co/6DHpzgy1gC— Cllr Dylan Tippetts (@Cllr Dylan Tippetts) 1651843315
Posting about the result on Twitter, Mr Tippetts said he is “honoured and privileged” to be elected, adding: “To the trans community – you belong, your voice is your power. Things will get better.”
Sasha Misra, associate director of communications and campaigns at Stonewall, said: “Polling repeatedly shows that the majority of people in Britain support trans people, and this has been reflected in an election day that saw three openly trans and non-binary councillors elected by the public.
“Trans people have always been underrepresented in positions of seniority in society, and many often only read about their lives and experiences through the lens of media scaremongering.
“This representation can only help to widen public understanding of what it is to be trans.”