Interview of Melissa Sklarz

Melissa Sklarz was the first transgender elected official in New York, having been a judicial delegate since the 1990s. She has served on many trans rights legislative committees, including the Stonewall Democrats and Gay and Lesbian Independent Democrats, and was a delegate for the DNC in 2016. Yet her life before politics was marred by homelessness and substance abuse while struggling through life in New York in the 1970s and 1980s, and slowly coming to terms with her gender identity. Here she discusses her troubled past as well as her vision for a more just, trans-inclusive future.

Date of Interview:

December 1, 2021

Location of Interview:

Manhattan, New York City, New York

Place of birth:

New York City


She / Her

Interviewed by

Ric Tennenbaum

Summary by

Boyda Johnstone