Bre Kidman is the first out non-binary person to run for the US Senate
A 31-year-old non-binary lawyer from Providence has made history by announcing their bid to represent Maine in the US senate — making them the first openly non-binary person to run for Senate.
If elected, Bre Kidman would be the first openly transgender person to serve in the US Congress.
The political newcomer says they were spurred into taking action when Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the US Supreme Court. Current Maine senator, Susan Collins, voted for Kavanaugh.
“I felt called to do everything I could to stand up to a system where it looks to me as though fascism is rising in the United States,” Kidman told the Huffington Post.
“I had this very strong feeling that I have do everything I can do to stop that,” they said.
On their campaign website, Kidman says, “I’m a millennial. I’ve never run for office. I hate wearing blazers. I drive a dented 10-year-old subcompact with a missing hubcap. I’m a pierced, tattooed, rainbow-haired plus-sized burlesque performer who buys most of their fast fashion wardrobe on clearance.”
And they add “because Maine deserves more than a politician.”
Non-binary honorific Mx added to Senate race application
Kidman, who is still working to pay off their student loans, has already made a small change to the system – by requesting the addition of the gender-neutral ‘Mx’ honorific to the electronic application form that candidates who want to run for the Senate must fill out.
“It’s a small fix,” they said. “It’s not like I was battling for my life to make this happen. But at the same time, the next non-binary person to run for Senate isn’t going to look at that drop-down menu and feel like there isn’t a space for them.”
“Just knowing that there’s one less hurdle because I was here … If we can remove some of the barriers to trans people getting adequate representation in our government then it will have been worth it.”
The US Senate ethics committee added Mx to the system within a week of Kidman reporting that it was missing.
The 2020 Senate race in Maine will be hotly contested, with Collins being challenged by two Maine Democrats, Maine house speaker Sara Gideon and Betsy Sweet, a lobbyist who has the backing of Democrats for America.
Kidman has received support from some left-leaning groups, but acknowledges that – despite running on an inclusive platform focused on progressive climate policy, expanding reproductive rights and fighting for a $15 minimum wage – their campaign is a long shot.
But they’ve already received positive reactions. At Portland’s annual Pride parade this year, a group of LGBT+ teenagers approached Kidman and said, crying, that they never thought they’d see “someone like us” running for Senate.
“Those reactions keep me motivated to do this,” Kidman said.