Between the Lines Interview with Charin



For the LGBTQ community, Jennifer V. Kurland’s race for governor is one to watch not only because of its progressive platform but especially because of her running mate: Charin H. Davenport. Beyond being a vocal activist for LGBTQ rights and affiliated with such organizations as Transgender Michigan, the ACLU of Michigan and the National Association for Transgender Equality, Davenport herself is transgender — meaning that her potential appointment as lieutenant governor would be unprecedented for both the state of Michigan and much of the U.S.
With the Nov. 6 midterm election coming up next week, there is still time for LGBTQ voters to familiarize themselves with both Kurland’s positions on a variety of important issues as well as Davenport’s. BTL caught up with her in the middle of a busy campaign schedule to chat about the issues that she believes are priorities in the gubernatorial race.

What makes you qualified to be lieutenant governor of Michigan?

I have a lot of experience in education. I taught high school in New York state for five years. After that, I moved to Michigan where I taught at Delta College in Bay City and at Saginaw Valley State University in Saginaw and I was there for about 10 years. Now I’m at Oakland University as a special lecturer in writing and rhetoric and this is my third year. I understand education at just about every level. … I also understand the perspective of parents and the children themselves — I have three children who all went to public schools and they did very well. … I also am a Vietnam era veteran. I served in the United States Navy from 1974 to 1981. I have a solid understanding of the value that veterans bring to our communities and the needs they have in order to be full participants in our communities. … Another thing I bring to the table is I have an understanding of what is commonly referred to as intersectionality. As the only veteran, I believe who is running, as well as the only transgender person who is in place and I think the only teacher, I understand how poverty, race, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation and just one’s geography intersect and form not just our identities but also how they (affect lives).



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