Brianna Titone, one of the few out transgender state lawmakers in the US, is facing disgraceful transphobic attacks as she battles for re-election.
Colorado’s first out transgender lawmaker, Titone was elected to serve in the Colorado House of Representatives in 2018 and is facing a tough election challenge from Republican Vicki Pyne on Tuesday (November 3).
Opponents have thrown the kitchen sink at the race in a bid to unseat Titone in the district, which was held by Republicans for years prior to her narrow victory.
The dirty tactics deployed against the candidate include naked transphobia, with Republican state representative Stephen Humphrey recording a robocall that disparages and misgenders Titone.
In the robocall, paid for by the right-wing PAC Colorado Family Values Victory Fund, Humphrey says: “Family values are important to me and representative Brianna Titone’s policies make me deeply concerned about protecting my family.
“Representative Titone is a transsexual state representative who wants to force a radical sexual agenda on every Coloradan.
“Titone supports policies that force your wives and daughters to share bathrooms with biological men who identify as female.
“Titone also supports taxpayer-funded sex change treatments for children, even before puberty. Titone is just too dangerous for Colorado families.”
Meanwhile, Colorado Public Radio reports that groups supporting Pyne’s bid for the seat have taken out a series of targeted Facebook ads targeting Titone, referring to her as a man and using her birth name.
Facebook has earned thousands from ads misgendering Brianna Titone and using her deadname.
Data from Facebook’s ad transparency library seen by PinkNews indicates thousands of dollars have been funnelled into the ads using Titone’s birth name, which have been served 80,000 times and remain active on the site several days after the issue was first raised.
The Facebook ads, from pro-Republican shell group Take Back Colorado, claim that the candidate “supported violence… when Brianna was known as [birth name],” adding: “Today, Brianna puts out violent extremist language on social media, while attacking law enforcement, and sexualizing children. Is this really who you want to represent you in Denver?”
PinkNews has requested comment from Facebook.
The candidate, who is endorsed by top Democrats including Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and Pete Buttigieg, told CPR: “In 2018 nobody expected me to win so I wasn’t a threat to them. That’s why there were no attacks.”
She said that the ads were “really in bad taste” and have led to an increase in abuse and trolling. She said: “I’ll never get used to it, but I’m learning to live with it as it’s never going away. Tiny arrows hurt when there are so many.”