Rep. Marie Newman on her transgender daughter’s coming out and being a target of Marjorie Taylor Greene

Newman’s daughter Evie came out in 2015 after a serious bout with depression, Newman recalled Thursday on the Chicago Sun-Times’ show “At the Virtual Table.”

SHARE Rep. Marie Newman on her transgender daughter’s coming out and being a target of Marjorie Taylor Greene
IMMIGRATION_070921_7.jpg

U.S. Rep. Marie Newman speaks to a few hundred people at the Thompson Center on July 8.

Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

U.S. Rep. Marie Newman won her congressional seat in Illinois’ 3rdDistrict last year as a progressive advocate for health care, human rights and small businesses.

Now, the southwest suburban first-year lawmaker and her transgender daughter are drawing national attention.Their mother-daughter story, featured in a June cover story ofTeen Vogue, has been plunged into the ugly politics of these divisive times.

Columnists bug

Columnists

In-depth political coverage, sports analysis, entertainment reviews and cultural commentary.

Newman’s daughter Evie came out in 2015 after a serious bout with depression, Newman recalled Thursday on the Chicago Sun-Times’ show “At the Virtual Table.”

Her family had “tried everything” to help the teen: group therapy, relationship building and medication.

Then, one day at dinner, her child declared, “Mom, I figured it out.”

“Oh, that’s great, honey,” Newman replied.“What did you figure out today?”

“And she said, ‘I am not a boy, I’m a girl. And my name is Evie.’”

Some might assume that would be a traumatic moment for a mom.

“I threw my hands in the air, and I was super excited, “ Newman said, and “thrilled” that Evie had discovered“her authentic self.”

How does one cope with not being able to be yourself?“It’s extremely hard to think about doing that for a week, a month or years or decades,” Newman said.

“Can you imagine the day that your child figures out who she is? It is just ... it’s that burden has taken, that backpack has taken off of her shoulders, and she has a whole new lease on life.”

But it also made Evie and her mother the targets of Newman’s congressional colleague U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, the conservative Georgia Republican who has forged her own national reputation — for spewing hate.

In February, Greenelost her House committee assignments after making racist and anti-Semitic comments and promoting baseless conspiracy theories.

There is plenty of legitimate room for differences between Greene and Newman. But wielding Newman’s child as a political bludgeon is the lowest of blows.

Earlier this year, Greene attacked the Equality Act on the floor of Congress. The proposed legislation would secure civil rights protections to LGBTQ people by prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.It has passed the House and is pending in the U.S. Senate.

In response, Newman placed a transgender pride flag outside of her Capitol Hill office, which is across from Greene’s.Greene countered by hanging a sign on her office door that read,“There are TWO genders: MALE & FEMALE. ‘Trust The Science.’”

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene Sparks Controversy With Sign Outside Capitol Building Office

A sign hangs on the wall outside the office of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene as a Transgender Pride flag hangs outside the office of Rep. Marie Newman in the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill, on February 25 in Washington, DC.

Al Drago/Getty Images

Earlier this month, Greene appeared in downstate Effingham to campaign for a GOP colleague,U.S. Rep. Mary Miller.Greene lobbed another attack on Newman.

“Her so-called daughter is a trans,biological adult son, approximately close to the same age as my two, very much biological real girls — daughters,” WBEZ quoted her as saying. She added:“she is very confused. As a matter of fact, so is her son.”

“So, what I will say about Rep. Taylor Greene is that she’s deeply broken,” Newman said Thursday.“And I hope she gets help.”

Meanwhile, Newman touts Evie, now a 20-year-old student at DePaul University.Her daughter’s experience “really helped me understand what someone feels like when they’re being discriminated against. And it’s horrible. Or when they’re not allowed to be their authentic self,” Newman said.

“What I always say is that, you know, it’s beyond just walking in their shoes. It’s really sitting down and thinking about what we can do better as allies to whatever community needs our help.”

Send letters toletters@suntimes.com.

The Latest
The woman, 22, was in a fight in the 5300 block of South Carpenter Street when she was stabbed in the chest and arms, police said.
The sergeant was attempting to arrest a male in the 3300 block of North Clark Street about 8:35 p.m. when he was punched in the head by a 21-year-old woman.
NHL
Behind a goal and an assist from Nathan MacKinnon, the Avalanche won the Stanley Cup for the third time in franchise history and first in more than two decades by beating the Lightning 2-1 in Game 6.
Taraji P. Henson, Janelle Monae and Jazmine Sullivan were some of the celebs speaking out on the stage.