If you’re looking for good news, America is on track to double its number of transgender lawmakers
As the US election results continue trickling in, America looks to be on track to double its number of openly transgender lawmakers.
The early prediction was made by the LGBTQ Victory Fund, a political action committee dedicated to increasing the number of LGBT+ public officials in the US.
Last year the organisation reported that the number of out transgender elected officials grew by 53.8 per cent (from 13 to 20) between 2018 and 2019. Soon, that total could be much higher.
“With the presidential race still up in the air it is admittedly tough to focus on the positive, but tonight we elected our first trans state senator, our first non-binary state legislator and we are still on-track to double the number of trans state legislators nationwide,” the Victory Fund tweeted the morning after the election.
“We also have elected state legislative candidates of colour to states and chambers where we never have before. There is much left to be decided and LGBTQ Congressional races in particular are up in the air. But if you’re looking for good news tonight, it is out there.”
We also have elected state legislative candidates of color to states and chambers where we never have before. There is much left to be decided and LGBTQ Congressional races in particular are up in the air. But if you’re looking for good news tonight, it is out there.
— LGBTQ Victory Fund (@VictoryFund) November 4, 2020
There were nearly 600 out candidates on the ballot this year, a record number for the US.
The victors include Mauree Turner, who has become the very first non-binary state lawmaker in US history. The Democratic community organiser and queer Muslim won election to district 88 in Oklahoma City, winning out over Republican Kelly Barlean with a projected 71 per cent of the vote.
Another history-making win was that of Human Rights Campaign activist and transgender rights champion Sarah McBride, who became the first trans woman ever elected to a state senate.
And the Kansas house of representatives welcomed Stephanie Byers, a trans teacher and member of the Native American Chickasaw Nation. She is one of the few trans people of colour elected to office in the United States, alongside Andrea Jenkins and Phillipe Cunningham who joined the Minneapolis City Council in 2017.
They’re part of an exciting rainbow wave of queer and transgender lawmakers breaking ground in the US election, significantly boosting representation for the whole community.