Allison White always knew that she would run for public office at some point. What she didn’t know, was that she would be able to do it as her true self.
White, 45, is a teacher at Kings Fork High School in Suffolk and is running for an at-large seat on the Virginia Beach City Council. This isn’t her first go at changing policies either. Before she came out to her district and school, she met with the Chairman of the Suffolk School Board and asked if there was an anti-discrimination protection for transgender individuals. When he said no, she started work on changing that and was successful. Once that obstacle was crossed, she came out to her school.
She spoke highly of her job, commending students, teachers, and parents alike for their positive and accepting attitude when she came out as Allison in August 2017. White said that there was no better time to do it than the beginning of the school year. She said that even though you’re never one-hundred percent ready, sometimes you just have to take the leap.
“Some days can be difficult, but you just keep focus on your goals as a person and you just keep going, have faith that what you’re doing is good. Even though some days are challenging, I just genuinely feel more excited about life in general after coming out.”
Seven months after coming out, White announced her candidacy for the Virginia Beach City Council. When talking about timing, she said that each person’s transition is different. For her, and most people, coming out is a series of steps that takes a lifetime.
“Why now?” White asked herself, “I’m happier with myself, I feel better. I just feel good and I feel like I could make a positive contribution.”
White said that she could add a level of diversity to the Virginia Beach City Council that it needs, personally and professionally. When speaking with friends and community members, there was discussion about whether White would run for school board or city council. She said that school board mostly has teachers and administrators, but city council does not. In a city where over fifty percent of the budget is allocated to public education, she wanted to be a part of bridging that gap.
As a teacher, strengthening schools and school funding is a large part of her platform. Schools are what keep people in Virginia Beach and what keep them moving to Virginia Beach. She spoke of the importance to be vigilant and to stay on top of things. “There’s no time to rest”, said White. She will focus on infrastructure such as storm drains, as well as basic needs of the citizens of Virginia Beach as well.
“I feel like I’ve lost a lot of years of my life, but now that I have this new opportunity I’m going to take advantage of it”, said White.
Residents of Virginia Beach can vote for White in the November 6 general election. White is one of two members of the LGBTQ community running for Virginia Beach, the other candidate is businessman David Nygaard. For additional information about White’s campaign, you may visit her site HERE.