This US city has elected only bisexual, transgender and gay people to lead it
A US city has elected an entirely LGBT council.
After Tuesday’s historic US elections, Palm Springs in California now has a council made up of two gay men, a transgender woman and a bisexual woman.
Half a century after Dan Johnston became the first gay US congressman, openly transgender and lesbian politicians have smashed through barriers.
In California, the state where Harvey Milk made history in 1978 by becoming the state’s first openly gay elected official, Lisa Middleton became the first openly trans person elected to political office.
And that’s not all.
Christy Holstege, a bi woman, won the other open seat on Palm Springs’ city council, joining gay councilmembers Geoff Kors and J.R. Roberts on the council.
On Facebook, Holstege, 31, wrote that she was “so honoured to be elected”.
She added: “I am especially honoured to share this victory with Lisa Middleton, whose historic election makes her the first elected transgender official to a non-judicial office in California.”
Speaking to The Desert Sun, she joked: “Now is when we can say we didn’t know what we were doing.
“We figured it out just with hard work.”
After her victory, Middleton said: “Another glass ceiling has been broken.
“For young people who are transgender all over the United States, they are going to have examples for what they can do,” she told local outlet KMIR.
“It says Palm Springs is going to judge you by the content of your character and by the work you’re able to accomplish,” Middleton added.
In Minneapolis, Minnesota, trans man Phillipe Cunningham won a tight race for the city council’s Fourth Ward seat to break another trans barrier.
By beating 20-year incumbent and council president Barb Johnson, Cunningham joined Andrea Jenkins, who became the first trans woman of colour elected in the nation.
In Virginia, Danica Roem became the first out trans person to be elected to the state legislature – by beating a virulent anti-LGBT politician.
The journalist and heavy metal vocalist won against Bob Marshall, a 26-year incumbent who proposed a bill that would’ve restricted which bathrooms trans people could use.
Marshall, who lost by 46% to 54%, also co-authored the state’s now-defunct constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and refused to debate Roem or refer to her as a woman during the campaign.
In Seattle, Jenny Durkan won 61% of the vote to become the first out lesbian mayor in the city’s history.
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The former federal prosecutor joined Jackie Biskupski, who holds office in Utah’s Salt Lake City, as the only out lesbian mayors of major US cities.
Pennsylvania also broke its trans barrier, as Tyler Titus became the first openly trans person to be elected in the state.
Rick Zbur, executive director of Equality California, said the election results was a response to Donald Trump’s hateful policies.
“In light of the repeated attacks on transgender people from the federal government, tonight’s wins by Lisa Middleton in Palm Springs and other transgender candidates in Minneapolis and Virginia are a beacon of hope that voters have embraced values of equality and inclusion.
“By becoming the first out transgender person to be elected to a nonjudicial office in California, Lisa is paving the way for others to follow in her footsteps in California and across the nation.
Her first place finish out of a field of 6 candidates demonstrates that a glass ceiling for transgender people who want to serve in elected office was not only broken, but was shattered in Palm Springs.”
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