Will Philadelphia Elect the Country’s First Male Trans Judge?


The City of Brotherly Love may get a lot more inclusive on May 16.

Henry Sias, a Philadelphia lawyer, is running for a judgeship on the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia. A win would make him the first male transgender judge in the country. (Trans women currently serve on the bench in California and Texas).

from facebook.com

from facebook.com

Sias, a Yale Law School graduate, practiced law for Blank Rome LLP, a prestigious law firm that includes notable alumni Geraldine Ferraro and Gil Stein. He left Blank Rome in 2008, going on to clerk for two state Supreme Court justices.

As a trans man himself, Sias understands acutely the specific issues facing the trans community.

“In Philadelphia, the trans community has a very serious problem with jobs: Almost half of trans people report some form of discrimination or adverse experience related to their trans identity at work — and that’s not including all the people who never get a call back when an employer Googles them and they’re outed as trans and the employer doesn’t want to hire them for that purpose,” he told Philadelphia Gay News. “Employment discrimination is an enormous issue in our community.”

His professional tenure has been marked by advocacy for less privileged groups. He founded Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity in 2010, a nonprofit legal-aid organization that “advocates for a more equitable social environment for those with criminal records,” according to its mission statement.

And still, even while grappling with issues like systemic discrimination, if elected, Sias promises to tackle the single most important problem facing the Philadelphia court system: Internet Explorer.   

“I want to revisit some of the trailblazing electronic stuff we did previously to make sure the system is safe and still working as it should,” Sias said about the heinous internet browsing software.

However, the country will see on May 16 whether the typically-progressive Philadelphia is ready for such a huge change.

(To, like, Chrome, or even Firefox. Not Safari, though—that shit’s for Macs.)

About The Author

Samuel Braslow is an associate editor at FourTwoNine Magazine, and covers current events and politics for the website.

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