Jess Herbst is someone you may have heard about. Or you may have heard about the “first openly transgender mayor in Texas as well as the first openly transgender elected official in Texas” that’s Jess, and she has been getting a lot of press, especially in her role as an “accidental activist” for LGBTQ rights.
I first met Jess as Jeff Herbst back in the late 90s. We were professional colleagues. I was an editor and also in charge of all the video equipment at ZEE TV, the Indian Satellite Network’s US Headquarters in Arlington Texas. Whenever I had a technical problem I couldn’t solve on my own, I would call Herbst, the smartest, most logical video and software engineer I’ve ever met. After we did all the troubleshooting, we would invariably end up chatting about who-knows-what for an extra hour or so and became quite friendly. And since I had a lot of technical problems we met fairly often.
Flash forward about twenty years, and we reconnect on Facebook, and then last year I notice, Jeff has become Jess, and she’s also entered politics.