City of Anna Official Reveals She is Transgender

The chair of the planning and zoning commission in Anna revealed this week that she is transgender, spurred into action by Senate Bill 6, or the "bathroom bill."

Janine Johnson is better known as John Johnson around the city of Anna.

For the last four years that she has been on the planning and zoning commission, she has attended meetings as a male.

Monday evening, Johnson said, was time to show her true self.

"Coming out has not been nearly as difficult as living a lie," Johnson said.

The 69-year-old is still legally named John and her license lists her as a male, which is why Johnson operated within the city as a male. The position is a voluntary and unpaid.

But Johnson is now confidently trading in her suits for skirts.

"Believe me, it takes a whole lot of energy to hide your true self from the world," Johnson said, adding that she knew she was a girl in a boy's body at the age of 4.

A traumatic experience as a child at age 10 left her living as a man for much of her life. Johnson began transitioning in 2004, when she was 56 years old.

She hopes to live as a "full-time female" in the future and said the reaction has been primarily positive.

Johnson said she was inspired to come out by the hotly debated Texas bathroom bill.

"It strikes me as the epitome of stupidity," Johnson said. "In my opinion, it is one of the most bigoted, hateful attempts at legislation that I have ever encountered in my life."

The bill passed a Senate committee after 13 hours of testimony from the public.

Next, it will head to the full Senate for a hearing.

Johnson is the second Collin County city leader to open up recently.

Earlier this year, the mayor of New Hope, Jess Herbst, revealed that she is transgender.

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