CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (AP) – Janice Covington Allison, a transgender woman turned strong Democratic activist on behalf of LGBT rights in North Carolina, has died aged 74.
Allison died at Atrium Health Mercy Hospital in Charlotte on Friday, according to friend September McCrady. McCrady, who had been in contact with Allison’s wife, said Monday her health had deteriorated due to kidney problems.
Allison became the first transgender woman to represent North Carolina at the Democratic National Convention when she was elected a delegate to the 2012 convention in Charlotte, The Charlotte Observer reported.
Allison also unsuccessfully ran for president of the North Carolina Democratic Party in 2015, and was also the party’s chair for diversity and outreach.
Originally from Delaware, Allison served in the military and eventually moved to the Charlotte area in the 1970s. Dressed as a man, she was the volunteer fire chief in Cabarrus County.
“I lived two lives, screaming for men to climb a ladder and put out a fire during the day, and go to clubs at night as Janice… wearing a miniskirt and heels,” Allison told the ‘Observe.
In a statement over the weekend, North Carolina Democratic Party leaders called Allison a “fearless advocate for LGBTQ + and champion of the transgender community.”
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