Home News Stu Rasmussen, First Overtly Transgender Mayor in America, Dies at 73

Stu Rasmussen, First Overtly Transgender Mayor in America, Dies at 73


Three weeks after the election, members of the Westboro Baptist Church, a non secular group in Topeka, Kan., recognized for staging hate-filled, antigay protests at army funerals and different ceremonies, held a small rally in Silverton, the place they lofted indicators condemning Mr. Rasmussen and the city.

However an excellent bigger variety of locals turned out for a counterprotest. Some 200 individuals, together with a number of males who had wearing girls’s clothes for the event, held their very own indicators, studying “Jesus Loves Stu” and “Stu Rocks.”

The encounter, which additionally drew nationwide consideration, later impressed a musical, “Stu for Silverton,” which debuted in Seattle in 2013.

Regardless of his superstar, Mr. Rasmussen spent his second stint as mayor, from 2009 to 2015, together with his head down, centered on the kind of points that undergird most of life in small-town America. He constructed a skate park and a senior middle. He established an early-warning system at a close-by dam. He ran Metropolis Council conferences. He was, in most ways in which mattered, no totally different from another politician, and the city handled him that method.

“Lots of people who’re transgender assume, ‘I can’t be myself right here. I’ve to go some place else, go to Portland or to San Francisco, and let the opposite aspect of me come out,’” he told The Salem Statesman-Journal in 2015. “I transitioned in place. And the neighborhood got here together with me.”

Stewart Alan Rasmussen was born on Sept. 9, 1948. His father, Albert, was a Danish immigrant who at numerous factors in his life panned for gold, delivered mail and managed the Palace Theater. His mom, Nan (Dowling) Rasmussen, was a homemaker.

Stu acquired an affiliate’s diploma in electrical engineering in 1971 from what’s now Chemeketa Neighborhood School, in Salem, after which he spent almost eight years working for a tech firm in Beaverton, a western suburb of Portland. It was the one time in his life he lived outdoors Silverton.