McHenry Township Clerk’s First Openly Transgender Elected Tells His Story
TOWNSHIP OF MCHENRY, Illinois. – Township of McHenry Clerk Danielle Aylward paid her taxes in dollar bills in 2016 as part of a tax protest. She says it started her run for McHenry Clerk of the Municipality.
Last year she ran for a second term and won, but before the election she had a tough decision to make.
For decades, Aylward’s family and friends knew she was transgender, but in November, she officially started taking hormone replacement therapy.
“I didn’t know if I was going to get re-elected, but if I did, I was going to have to come out or resign,” Aylward said. “I’m not very good at quitting.”
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Aylward says his granddaughter and eldest daughter are his main supporters. However, her granddaughter didn’t want her to show up because she wanted Aylward to go ahead with her change.
A combination of things led her to run for office again. One of the reasons was Kristal Larson. She is the second openly transgender person to be elected to a position in Illinois, and she’s also a township clerk like Aylward. Larson is Avon’s clerk. Aylward also says that God and timing played a role in her decision to run again.
After winning the election, Aylward went out publicly. She says she was blown away by the response.
“I can’t believe it,” Aylward said. “I had over 200 congratulatory and supportive comments. It was wonderful. It’s like a thousand pounds weight on my shoulders.”