Tennessee’s first openly transgender candidate elected

Nashville’s Olivia Hill says she is the first transgender woman to be on a Tennessee ballot and win in a Tennessee election.
Hill is the first openly transgender person to be elected to any public position in Tennessee.
Published: Sep. 15, 2023 at 6:12 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 15, 2023 at 6:49 AM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Olivia Hill made history in two ways on Thursday night: one being the first transgender woman on a Tennessee ballot, and two being the first transgender woman to win for one of Nashville’s At-Large seats on the Metro Council.

As a Nashville native and combat veteran, Hill focused her campaign on repairing the city’s overburdened infrastructure.

“I cannot wait to get to work for our city, but tonight, we celebrate,” Hill said. “We celebrate the opportunity to help repair our problems while looking forward to our city’s future. We celebrate the opportunity to embrace every neighborhood, no matter the zip code, and help it reach its potential.”

Prior to the win, Hill focused on educating the public on issues faced by women and the LGBTQ+ community. Hill has been a featured speaker for many organizations including the Metro Nashville Police Academy, Vanderbilt University, churches, and more.

Hill is also a member of the board of directors of the Tennessee Pride Chamber and was the 2023 Grand Marshall of the city’s pride celebration.

In 2021, Hill sued Vanderbilt University for the discrimination she claimed she endured after her transition.

“My expertise is fixing things, and while my focus is repairing Nashville’s outdated infrastructure, I also want to ensure that our city is represented with true diversity in a state where the ruling party thinks I should head to the closet,” she said. “I am hopeful that I can help those who don’t appreciate me and my LGBTQ+ siblings learn that we have so much to offer and to stop tearing us down.”