Just Happens to be LGBT: Transcending the LGBT label in politics and beyond
Published: August 6, 2014
I’m not an apologist for Taylor. One of the reasons I liked the idea of her as mayor is that she stated she would not run in 2015 and would serve only as interim. But I remain cautiously optimistic that she will do what she has promised. And I understand that political promises are only worth the amount of pressure that we the people place upon the incumbent to carry out their word. But I have no doubt that many will hold her to those remarks, as they must and should.
So how does all this connect to the idea of “Just Happens to Be LGBT”? To make that connection, we have to look to the only member of the LGBT community who spoke to council in Taylor’s favor on July 22—Ruby Krebs. Ruby, who is transgender, first met Taylor in 2009.
Later, she got to know Taylor better while working as a manager at the Antonian Hotel near Fort Sam Houston. Krebs worked with Taylor on something the new mayor is passionate about—economic development—by trying to improve the ability of businesses on the North New Braunfels corridor to connect to clientele from Fort Sam. Krebs, who has been active in politics for years, once ran for city council District 1, and was appointed in 2011 to the Citizen Advisory Action Board, which reviews evidence in all internal affairs cases that come before the SAPD.
In other words, Krebs has a relationship with Taylor and with city government that goes beyond her role as a transgender citizen. “I’m proud of the work I’ve done with the city in many capacities, and I’ve gotten to know Ivy Taylor by working with her on a variety of projects,” Krebs explains. “I feel that I know her better than many in the community.”
Krebs emphasizes that she did not endorse Taylor, per se, but simply asked others to consider the former District 2 councilwoman as a viable option for mayor. “Of course, when she voted against the NDO, I was disappointed, but I didn’t take it personally. I was shocked to see the negativity of the discussion against her on social media. You don’t build a relationship with someone and try and get things done by antagonizing them.”
Ultimately, Krebs sees her relationship with Taylor as a boon to continuing the work set out by community groups like Community Alliance for a United San Antonio (CAUSA) and others: to put some teeth on the NDO by creating a process for complaints to be dealt with. “No matter who you are, it helps to actively work on mainstream issues that affect everyone. It shows you’re a multifaceted person,” says Krebs. “We all need to embrace our roles as members of the larger city community. There is no ‘gay agenda.’ It’s just the same as every other agenda—work together to improve things for everyone. The NDO was important, and I’m glad it’s the law of the land. Now we need to learn to work with each other.”