I transitioned almost 30 years ago when I was 19, which was the beginning of my journey in the Trans Community. So many Trans and Gender Diverse folx have been working hard to change the perceived narrative of our community. That work, along with my life’s work, is what has led me to seek to be elected to New Mexico House District 28.
I’ve lived in NM HD 28 for over 15 years and plan on living here for the rest of my life. When Representative Stansbury became the Democratic Nominee for the U.S. House seat vacated by Secretary Debra Haaland, I told myself, “It’s time for you to step up and run for this seat.” I have gotten to work building a strong and diverse campaign team, because I believe diversity is a strength.
I am currently in EMERGE NM, chairwoman of Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico, a board member of A Light in The Light Community Outreach and an advisor to the Imperial Sovereign Court of New Mexico. I have previously served on the boards of Albuquerque Pride and Youth In Transition.
I began community-based fundraising in the early ’90s in the AIDS epidemic to help people with HIV/AIDS pay rent, get groceries, pay for prescriptions and for many funerals. That led me on a lifelong course of grassroots, community-based fundraising, organizing and direct services. I am a co-founder of the NM HIV WALK, as well as the founder of Bunnie Bags that feeds unsheltered and at-risk trans folx. For the last 22 years, I have led fundraising to get Thanksgiving and Christmas meals for people with HIV/AIDS, families and the trans community, as well as a Christmas drive that gets them gifts. I have been part of a back-to-school drive for the last 10 years, helping our students get ready to be successful each school year.
In doing community building and leading nonprofits, I have seen the needs firsthand, so I know the structural changes that need to be strengthened. The challenges of my life are not specific to only me or the Trans community. Our children are struggling in New Mexico, and my top priority is to give them a great future. I also believe that we need an economy that works for everyone. The governor and Legislature have done an amazing job since the 2019 takeover, but we still have work to do, and I am excited to continue the momentum.
The historic nature of my race should also be acknowledged. There has never been a space for trans people to partake in that change in the N.M. Legislature until now, and I want to seize that opportunity to serve my district. We have open and out Gay, Lesbian and Queer folx on the Albuquerque City Council, the Bernalillo County Board of Commissioners, the New Mexico State Senate and House of Representatives, and I am working hard to be the first openly Transgender Woman to serve in office in New Mexico!!!!
Happy Pride, stay safe and get vaccinated!!!!!
Check out our campaign at PeopleforBunnieCruse.com or follow us on Facebook at People For Bunnie Cruse!
Bunnie Cruse has applied for Democrat Melanie Stansbury’s House District seat in the State Legislature. Stansbury is seeking election in Congressional District 1, which was vacated by Interior Secretary Deb Haaland. Benton Cruse has applied to the Bernalillo County Commission, which will decide who to appoint to HD 28 if Stansbury wins June 1 and leaves the seat.