A controversial and politically conservative individual, Althea Garrison was the first trans state legislator in the U.S. Garrison has never publicly announced her trans status, discussed it or made it a part of her political platform. In 1976 her name change petition was approved and filed in the Suffolk County Courthouse in Massachusetts. In 1992, Garrison ran for the 5th Suffolk district in the Massachusetts House, representing the Dorchester and Roxbury areas of Boston and was elected. The fact that Garrison had been formerly known as a male was not widely publicized until shortly after she was elected to the legislature. When questioned by The Boston Herald about her past, Garrison denied that she used to be a man but ended the conversation when asked about her name change. In the state House of Representatives, Garrison consistently voted in favor of labor unions, resulting in her being endorsed for re-election by the Massachusetts AFL-CIO and eight unions. On many votes, she voted with the Democrats in the legislature rather than with the Republicans despite her party status. Garrison was defeated in her 1994 bid for re-election by Democratic candidate Charlotte Golar Richie. Garrison's later runs for office, all unsuccessful, included a 2000 race for the Massachusetts House as an "Independent Progressive" candidate, a 2001 bid for mayor of Boston, and a 2002 race in a special election for the 1st Suffolk district in the Massachusetts Senate as a Republican.