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Transgender women sworn into elected positions in Fairbanks area

FAIRBANKS — The first two transgender women elected to public office in Alaska have been sworn in for their new jobs.

Kathy Ottersten is serving on the Fairbanks City Council for a one-year term while Liz Lyke is serving on the Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly for a three-year term, KTVF-TV reported this week.

Both won their races in the municipal election in early October.

Ottersten and Lyke said being transgender is just one aspect of their lives, and they are much more than that. They say they sought office to serve their neighbors, friends and families.

"This person isn't just a Republican or Democrat, they also care about this thing or that thing — they volunteer to do this," Lyke said. "We see people in their whole entirety which is really important and I think that's what people did with Kathy and I, like 'Oh yeah I see more than this one thing.' "

Ottersten said she hopes the matter can be just as ordinary as saying what blood type a person is.