Sharron Cooks Becomes the First-Ever Transgender Person to Chair a City Commission

Cooks, a trans advocate, was recently elected chair of the Mayor's Commission on LGBT Affairs.

Sharron Cooks | Photo taken by Kelly Burkhardt

Sharron Cooks | Photo taken by Kelly Burkhardt

The Mayor’s Commission on LGBT Affairs finished its internal election for board leaders this week, and G Philly was notified on Thursday that transgender advocate Sharron Cooks was elected as chair, along with out rowing coach Libby Peters as secretary and community activist Jason Evans as treasurer. In this role, Cooks becomes the first transgender person ever to chair a citywide commission in Philadelphia.

“As chair of the Mayor’s Commission on LGBT Affairs, I am committed and dedicated to serving the needs of the City of Philadelphia’s LGBTQ community. I am committed to advocating for equality and building and maintaining positive and supportive community relationships with trust, honesty, transparency and integrity,” Cooks told G Philly. “This is a new role for me as a black transgender woman. I am open to learning and receiving respectful feedback, and I am looking forward to working with all members of our LGBTQ community and allies here in Philadelphia and abroad as well as working with other organizations and institutions to help address the needs of our community.”

“I am delighted to announce that Sharron Cooks was elected by her fellow commissioners as the chair of the Mayor’s LGBT Affairs Commission. Sharron is a steadfast, dedicated, and passionate activist who is respected across our diverse community,” said Office of LGBT Affairs director Amber Hikes. “Sharron’s diligence and leadership are invaluable. It is a pleasure to welcome Sharron as chair of the commission, and I look forward to working closely with her and the LGBT Affairs Commission to protect and empower LGBTQ Philadelphians throughout this great city.”

Cooks, an Equality PA board member, has made history throughout her career. At last year’s Democratic National Convention, she became the first-ever black transgender Pennsylvania delegate at a national convention. She’s also the owner and CEO of Making Our Lives Easier LLC, a community-based consulting firm that provides resources and information to under-represented communities through community organizing, advocacy, and activism.