The U.S. Sees A ‘Rainbow Wave’ Of LGBTQIA+ Politicians Win During The Election

At the time of publishing, it’s still too early to call exactly who will win the U.S. Presidential Election. For the last 24 hours, I’ve refreshed Twitter, the New York Times, ABC and The Guardian, and seen a completely different result each time. Let’s be real folks, it is fucking with our anxiety. Hard.

But, if there’s one good thing about this presidential election, it’s that there’s what some are calling a “Rainbow Wave” of LGBTQIA+ politicians elected. Per them‘s live feed, from openly-trans politicians to a queer representative beating out a neo-Nazi, these are the positive queer results from the U.S. Presidential Election.

Taylor Small, Vermont

26-year-old Taylor Small is the first openly transgender person to be elected to the Vermont legislature. Small, who won a seat in the state’s Chittenden 6-7 District early into counting the election results on Wednesday, is the director of a non-for-profit health program for Vermont’s LGBTQIA+ as well as the face behind drag persona Nikki Champagne. 

Taylor Small is the 5th transgender legislator in the United States, winning by 41% of the vote. In a statement via them, LGBTQIA+ Victory Fund President Annise Parker said “even pro-equality states like Vermont need trans voices in government to ensure the priorities and concerns of the community are heard… Taylor will bring that perspective.”

Sarah McBride, Delaware

Human Rights Campaign spokesperson Sarah McBride has won her state senate seat in Delaware’s District 1, making her the highest-ranking transgender politician in the United States. McBride’s achievement comes three years after Danica Roem became the first openly transgender person was elected and seated in a state legislature, which inspired more trans leaders in U.S. politics.

“I hope tonight shows an LGBTQ kid that our democracy is big enough for them, too,” she said on Twitter.

Michele Rayner-Goolsby and Shevrin Jones, Florida

Florida may have voted Republican, but there’s been a few wins for LGBTQIA+ people in the region. Specifically, Michele Rayner-Goolsby, the state’s first openly queer Black woman as state legislator, and Shevrin Jones, the first openly LGBTQIA+ state senator. 

Ritchie Torres, New York City

Ritchie Torres has become the first queer, Afro-Latinx elected official in Congress after successfully getting elected into the 15th Congressional District in the South Bronx area.

Jabari Brisport, New York City

Jabari Brisport has been voted in to represent New York’s 25th District as the first LGBTQIA+ person of colour in the New York State Legislature. Brisport, a former public school maths and science teacher, is a self-identified socialist who, according to them, proposed plans to defund the New York Police Department (😍), dissolve the racist system behind cash bail (😍😍), end solitary confinement (😍😍😍) and establish safe injection sites to lower the risk of injection-spread diseases (😍😍😍😍).

Sharice Davids, Kansas

Sharice Davids, the first openly LGBTQIA+ Native American in congress has been elected to rep Kansas’s District 3. While in Congress, Davids has been the co-chair of the House’s LGBTQIA+ Equality Caucus and co-sponsored the Equality Act, which sought to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, when it was first passed in the House. 

Stephanie Byers, Kansas

Fellow Kansas representative Stephanie Byers has won the seat of Kansas’s Congressional District 86, marking her as the state’s first trans state legislator and also the first openly trans Native American and person of colour elected to state legislature in the country.

In a statement shared to them, President of LGBTQIA+ Victory Fund, Annise Parker said, “her victory will inspire more trans people to run for office because they see it is possible and understand these candidates are transforming how America perceives them. While cynical politicians attempted to weaponise trans issues for political gain this cycle, Stephanie’s victory is a powerful reminder that most voters reject the politics of bigotry and will elect trans people who have a positive vision for their communities.”

Mauree Turner, Oklahoma

After winning Oklahoma City’s District 88, Mauree Turner has made history as the country’s first non-binary state legislator. The 27-year-old super-star and ACLU community organiser is also the first Muslim person elected to the Oklahoma legislature and the first Black person to represent the district.

Tiara Mack, Rhode Island

Tiara Mack has been voted in as the first Black LGBTQIA+ state legislature. A reproductive rights advocate, Mack won with an overwhelming majority, representing the state’s 6th district. 

Kim Jackson, Georgia

Kim Jackson has won her state senate seat in Georgia’s District 41, becoming the first openly LGBTQIA+ state senator in Georgia and one of four openly LGBTQIA+ Black women state senators in the country. Like McBride, Jackson is entering the Georgia State Senate nearly ten years since her political role model, former Georgia state rep. Simone Bell became the first out Black lesbian in any of the nation’s state legislature.

Sam Park, Georgia

Sam Park, Georgia’s first openly gay Asian-American state legislature, has reprised his seat in the state 101st district. Park is one of only three Asian-American state legislators in the United States, and earlier this year, became one of the first openly LGBTQIA+ people to keynote the Democratic National Convention. 

David Ortiz, Colorado

David Ortiz has won Colorado’s 38th district, becoming the state’s first openly bisexual state legislator. A Latinx army veteran who was left paralysed after a helicopter crash, Ortiz joins the underrepresented group of openly bisexual state legislators in U.S. politics (14 out of nearly 150 LGBTQIA+ state legislators in the country.).

Adrian Tam, Hawaii

Adrian Tam has defeated Nicholas Ochs, the founder of the Hawaii, the anti-LGBTQIA+, neo-Nazi hate group you might remember Trump publicly ordered to “stand by” during the first presidential debate. The 27-year-old is the only openly LGBTQIA+ state legislator in Hawaii, and joins Sam Park in Georgia as one of the only openly LGBTQIA+ Asian American state representatives in the United States. Adrian Tam won with 67.9% of the votes. 

Hero images: Rep. Sam Park, Rep. Sarah McBride & Rep. Ritchie Torres (Facebook).

Julian Rizzo-Smith is a writer and producer. He also claims to be a vine historian, avid connoisseur of low-fi beats, indie hip hop and Kermit memes. In a perfect world, he’d be married to Tyler the Creator, own an Arcanine and a Lapras, and don his own Sailor Scouts uniform. He tweets @GayWeebDisaster, which is also, coincidentally, how one might describe him.