USA Today names transgender woman among ‘Women of the Year’ honorees

USA Today has named Minnesota state Rep. Leigh Finke as its “Women of the Year” honoree for the state of Minnesota — but Finke, who identifies as a transgender, is a biological man.

Finke, who entered office in early January after winning election in November 2022, is the first transgender individual elected to the Minnesota state legislature.

“The trans and LGBTQ community, we have to expand our understanding of what it means to be successful and happy and thriving, but also how to be creative and expansive in how we want the future to look for everyone. I think trans people are on the leading edge of that. We are here creating a path forward for everyone, and everyone will benefit from the work that we’re trying to do for our young people,” Finke said, according to the St. Cloud Times. “Trans liberation is upward flowing, all liberation movements flow outwards. Everyone will benefit from it and it’s worth committing yourself to.”

“Tell the truth and lead with your values, that’s what I tell myself. Tell the truth and lead with your values. And that way you won’t have to apologize, you won’t have to take things back, you won’t have to look back at all,” Finke said, according to the outlet.

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Some of USA Today’s “Women of the Year” national honorees this year include actress Goldie Hawn, former first lady Michelle Obama, and actress Sheryl Lee Ralph.

Last year, Admiral Rachel Levine, another biological man who identifies as a woman, was named among the honorees.

Earlier this month, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a statement on International Women’s Day in which he declared that “trans women are women.”

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