A ‘rainbow wave’ is sweeping across the US as LGBT+ candidates claim victory in local and state elections (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty)
Almost half of the openly LGBT+ candidates claimed victory in US state and local elections this week, in a sweeping movement that’s been dubbed ‘the rainbow wave’.
According to the LGBT+ Victory Fund, a political action committee that supports LGBT+ candidates, 99 out of the 200 LGBT+ candidates on the ballot won their races.
And in 2019 as a whole, 144 openly LGBT+ candidates won their elections out of 382 – approximately 38 percent.
It’s hugely encouraging in light of the fact that LGBT+ people are severely underrepresented across all levels of politics in the US.
“By knocking on doors and speaking to the issues most pressing in their communities, LGBTQ candidates are winning elections in numbers and in parts of the country thought unthinkable a decade or two ago,” Annise Parker, President & CEO of the LGBTQ Victory Fund, said in a statement.
“LGBTQ people are in every community – we are people of colour, women, immigrants, and people with disabilities – and we come from families both liberal and conservative.
“This beautiful diversity provides an opportunity to connect on some level with every single voter in America. That is the reason LGBTQ candidates are winning in unprecedented numbers, and this will only accelerate in the years ahead.”
56.3 percent of known out trans women who ran for office in 2019 won their races. Among them was Danica Roem, who made history as the first trans person to be re-elected despite a cruel advertising campaign that targeted her for her gender identity.
The anti-LGBT Family Foundation Action hate group targeted her online with Facebook ads which read: “Delegate Danica Roem (D – Dist. 13) sponsored a bill to force all insurance companies to pay for harmful and unnecessary ‘gender transition’ surgeries. Reject Roem’s EXTREME social agenda on Nov 5th!”
Undeterred, Roem beat her Republican opponent Kelly McGinn by 54-43.
Annise Parker, president and CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund, said: “Her reelection proves that political revolution is a lasting transformation – not an aberration.”
Fingers crossed this rainbow wave will continue all the way through 2020.