Freyja Odinsdotter Becomes First Trans Woman to Run for Sheriff in the United States
Denton County, TX — As a transgender woman, mother, activist, former detention officer, martial arts instructor, and veteran who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, Freyja (FRAY-yuh) Odinsdotter just might be the most diverse candidate for Sheriff in Texas, if not the entire country. With the majority of her professional experience rooted in some type of defense, law enforcement, or security occupation, serving as a protector of the public isn’t just something she does, it’s who she is.
“I knew going into law enforcement that there was rot in the barrel, corruption in the system. But I thought I could move up the ranks and change it,” Freyja Odinsdotter said. “What I didn’t realize was that the systems of oppression are so deeply rooted that unless you play into them, you hit a glass ceiling very quickly. Now, I’m taking a top-down approach.”
Freyja Odinsdotter isn’t running a reform campaign. Rather, she aims to “carve out the rot” of institutionalized racism, corruption, and complicity at the local levels of law enforcement in order to make space for a new, more diversified and more inclusive policing system wherein morals and ethics are the founding principles of public service and all of the public is served equally and equitably.
“Law enforcement leaders should be made of integrity, accountability, transparency, and fearlessness. Integrity meaning doing the right thing, even when nobody is watching; accountability meaning owning one’s actions and words; and transparency meaning not hiding difficult truths to protect oneself or other officers. Fearlessness is most critical because it is cowardice that results in police brutality.”
For Freyja Odinsdotter, being the Sheriff of Denton County means being a leader both within her department and her community. It means initiating pro-active, anti-racist officer training to prevent racial profiling. It means working with other elected officials to decriminalize drug addiction and implement new programs that connect people with help, support, and rehabilitation in the moments they need it most. It means working to decriminalize homelessness because jail sentences cannot rehabilitate poverty. It means working to decriminalize legitimate sex work so that more energy and resources can be invested in stopping and preventing human/sex trafficking. It means enforcing and observing lawful state mandates designed to protect all lives during our nation’s ongoing health crisis, including and especially those persons entrusted to the county’s care in our local correctional facilities.
Under the banner “Freyja for All,” Candidate Odinsdotter has promised to work with a diversity of community leaders to build communal safeguards against criminal activity while spearheading a 21st century county police force grounded in ethical behavior and transparent accountability.
“I’m running for Denton County Sheriff because so many people asked me to, and my return to law enforcement represents a return to policing by consent,” Odinsdotter said. “The increasing militarization of law enforcement, the normalization and justification of police brutality, qualified immunity — it all has to stop. We can create the changes we want to see across our nation right here in Denton County.”