Madison, Wis. school board candidate trashes trans people; nonbinary enters race to challenge her

Tue. December 7, 2021 2:30 PM by Gerald Farinas

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Shepherd Joyner will take on anti-trans candidate Mary Jo Walters

The race for Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) board is usually a boring one but one boast from an anti-transgender candidate has turned it into one to watch in the Midwest.

Mary Jo Walters has a history of making transphobic takes on social media and other online posts as Wisconsin, among other states, debate legislation banning trans athletes from participating in school sports and using the correct facilities of their gender identity.

She wants a seat on the MMSD board.

"I'm a watchdog first and foremost and I probably have been for all my life, "Walters repeated to local Madison and Milwaukee media. "I want them to know that there are people who actually don't buy into trans ideology."

When a Madison schools employee heard Walters could end up making decisions affecting transgender and nonbinary persons like herself, she had to try to stop her.

Shepherd Joyner is now running for MMSD board, too. But as someone who will defend the rights of LGBTQ students and employees and defend science that LGBTQ persons are "born this way."

Joyner told ABC News affiliate WKOW-TV, "I wanted to be the person to say, 'We're not going to tolerate that.'"

Walters and Joyner have until January 4 to submit the signatures of 150 eligible voters to get on the ballot.