Olivia Hill sworn in as the first transgender elected representative in Tennessee

Hill is one of five Metro Council at-large members who will take their seats for the first time at Tuesday’s meeting.
Olivia Hill has been sworn in as the first transgender representative elected in Tennessee.
Published: Oct. 2, 2023 at 11:21 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 3, 2023 at 4:33 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Olivia Hill is officially one of Metro’s five councilmember at-large members after she was sworn in Monday evening.

Hill’s swearing-in ceremony was held inside of the grand ballroom of the Hermitage Hotel. Several of her family members, supporters, Metro Council members, and friends filled the inside of the ballroom awaiting the moment she was given her oath.

“Representation is everything. I’ve been approached by so many moms, and dads, and teachers and leaders that have thanked me for running because now a lot of the trans community has someone to see,” said Hill.

She was sworn into office Monday evening inside of the historic Hermitage Hotel in Downtown Nashville. Hill said the location is significant to her and her family.

“I love this hotel. It is the historic Hermitage Hotel which where my mother and grandmother brought me as a child anytime there was anything special in our family this is where we came to celebrate,” Hill said.

Now, this time the fourth generation Nashvillian is celebrating a milestone.

“I paid a heavy price for my transition and I’ve lost most of my family, my friends, my career and so many people that stand beside me,” Hill said.

Hill’s cousin Missy was in attendance and held back tears as they watched her embrace this moment.

“And for the very first time since I transitioned, I stand before you to celebrate something special with my family present,” Hill said during her speech. “I ran this race as a qualified human, I didn’t run this race as a transwoman, I didn’t run this race as the first transwoman or as a woman at all. I only ran this race to showcase my experience and for a right to sit at the table.”

Tackling Nashville’s infrastructure, like focusing on expanding WeGo Public Transit, is one of the first things she wants to focus on at the start of her term.

“If we build three separate rings we have spokes connected to it all and then run 24 hours service. Then one could get on a bus and go left or right instead of all the way into town and then all the way back out,” Hill said.

Hill is a military veteran and served in Operation Desert Storm. She also used to work at Vanderbilt University but left after she sued for gender discrimination. Now, she’s ready to work for the people of Nashville.

“I will make sure that I work tirelessly hard for every single zip code in this county. My name is Olivia Hill, now let’s get to work,” Hill said as she ended her speech.

The first meeting for the new Metro Council members is Tuesday.