On Tuesday, November 8, 2016 the unthinkable happened. America elected perhaps the most ignorant, bigoted, misogynistic pig to the highest office in the country. Donald Trump was Inaugurated on January 21, 2017, and two huge things are happening as a result of that colossal mistake:
- White supremacist a**holes are coming out of the woodwork in droves, having Nazi-like torch marches and beating people of color in the streets with reckless abandon.
- Normal people are stepping up and declaring that we will not stand for white supremacist BS taking over our country and unlikely people are stepping forward to take an active role in government — they are tossing their hats into the ring for local, state, AND national offices.
This is awesome. In the recent election, one year after electing the grabber-in-chief, EIGHT openly transgender people ran for and won political races.
Danica Roem, Virginia (Virginia House of Delegates)
Danica Roem campaigned in tank tops and a rainbow bandanna, talking to constituents about the issues and knocking on approximately 79,000 doors in a district with just over 52,000 registered voters. She was running against a 13-year delegate named Bob Marshall who was an opponent of all things LGBTQ-related. While Roem stayed on the issues, Marshall attempted to use her transgender status against her. He refused to address her using proper pronouns. He refused to debate her. He called her an abomination. And he lost. Too bad for him. Roem will be “Virginia’s first out transgender public official and the nation’s only out transgender state representative.”
Lisa Middleton, California (Palm Springs City Council)
Lisa Middleton has been a strong advocate for many years — but now she will be a member of the Palm Springs City Council. Middleton will be “Will be the first nonjudicial elected official in the state of California.”
Phillipe Cunningham, Minnesota (Minneapolis City Council)
Phillipe Cunningham did not expect to grow up and become a politician. But after moving from rural Illinois to the “big city” of Minneapolis, he worked his way up through the system to become “senior policy aide for education, youth success, racial equity, and LGBTQ rights.” From there, a shift onto the City Council was only an election away. Cunningham holds distinction as “the first trans man elected to a major city council, and one of the first trans people of color to hold office in the United States.”
Andrea Jenkins, Minnesota (Minneapolis City Council)
Minneapolis voters obviously had a message to convey to the GOP and anti-LGBTQ groups everywhere. Andrea Jenkins jumped into the race at the urging of constituents in Ward 8. When Elizabeth Glidden made the announcement that she would not be running for re-election, a Facebook page appeared urging “Run, Andrea, Run!” In four days the page had over 5,000 followers and the rest is history. Like her counterpart, Jenkins will be “the first trans woman elected to a major city council, and one of the first trans people of color to hold elected office in the United States.”
Other notable races:
- Gerri Cannon, who won a seat on the Somersworth School Board in New Hampshire.
- Stephe Koontz, winning a seat on the Doraville City Council in Georgia
- Tyler Titus, in Pennsylvania, gaining a seat on the Erie School Board
- Raven Matherne, will become the youngest member of the Stamford Board of Representatives in Connecticut
Watch CNN discuss this historic landmark:
Watch Danica Roem discuss her win and what it means for the future:
Featured image from Human Rights Campaign