As Austinites, we’re blessed to live in a city that is progressive, experiential, experimental, game-changing, conscious and, lets face it, awesomely cool. In such a city, you’d expect the population to match, and in the ATX, we don’t disappoint. This Capital City is chock-full of amazing citizens who strive to better the city on a daily basis. From writers to activists, entrepreneurs to artists, we’ve rounded up a diverse group of Austinites that help make this city great.
Last November, in his speech at Austin’s Transgender Day of Remembrance, APD senior officer Greg Abbink introduced himself as the city’s first openly trans officer. The New York native, who has been with the force since 2004, suddenly became an unofficial ambassador of trans rights and inclusivity. Today, a year after making his public transition and assuming a new position as a continuing education instructor at the police academy, Abbink says he’s never been more proud to serve his community. That pride is all encompassing, from his affinity for the Texas heat to the neighborhood restaurants where he and his wife of five years frequent. “I just heard a fact—actually on an Austin duck tour with visiting family,” Abbink says, “that more people visit Austin every year than they do Niagara Falls.”