• Transgender woman faces challenge with Democratic Women's Association

    By: Nate Stewart

    Updated:

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - "I realize all eyes are on me. What I do, it paves the way and sets the example," said Janice Covington.

    Covington is a Democrat, blogger and speaker for human rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and is not shy about who she is.

    "Being transgendered is not a choice. A lot of people think it is a choice. That somewhere along the line I said, well I want to be a girl," said Covington.

    In April, Covington said she joined the Mecklenburg County Democratic Women's Association, paid her dues and attended her first meeting.

    It was at that meeting that she said someone representing themselves from the State Democratic Women's Association told her she could not be a member because of her gender.

    "To be told that I would be better suited in the men's auxiliary is really a slap in the face to me," said Covington.

    The Democratic Women's Association in Charlotte said this is the first time a transgender woman has applied.

    On Sunday night, members said they are reviewing their membership policy.

    In a statement to Channel 9 they said: That request for review is in process, but has in no way affected the membership status of Ms. Covington.

    The organization said, in fairness they hope to create a consistent guideline for all chapters across the state.
    They added: We apologize to Ms. Covington if she understood otherwise, and look forward to working with her on issues important to women, their families, and their communities.

    As the organization enters new territory for membership, Covington said she is ready to put the incident behind her.

    The Mecklenburg Democratic Women's Association told Channel 9 that Covington has been a member since April and will continue to be welcomed at their meetings.


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