A majority of the LGBT community released a collective sigh of relief as the election was finally called with Joe Biden as the winner. Although celebrations have mostly revolved around Trump’s loss rather than Biden’s victory, there are some victories this election season that deserve to be celebrated.
It’s slowly becoming more common for gay men to be elected to government positions, and this election season has continued that trend as a slew of them were appointed to various positions. More groundbreaking are the elections of transgender individuals, of which there were a few this season.
Being transgender is defined, in its simplest definition, as identifying as a gender other than the one you were assigned at birth. It encompasses many other gender identities, but for now, let’s focus on being MTF (male-to-female) because that’s what Sarah McBride is.
McBride became the first transgender state senator in the United States. She also became the first out LGBT person in Delaware's legislature.
“I hope tonight shows an LGBTQ kid that our democracy is big enough for them, too,” McBride tweeted.
As a Democrat, she represents the 1st district of Delaware’s state senate.
McBride isn’t the only transgender person to make waves this year. Falling underneath the transgender category are nonbinary and binary. McBride is binary because she is a woman, but those who are nonbinary don’t identify as a man or a woman.
An example is Mauree Turner, who has a few accomplishments under their belt.
Turner became the Oklahoma’s first Muslim lawmaker, as well as the first nonbinary state legislator in the United States.
“That's me! Mauree Turner. Pronouns They & She (not preferred, just pronouns),” Turner tweeted in response to CNN’s tweet. “I am a born n raised Muslim-Oklahoman. Non-binary femme, & community organizer. The work I've been doing with, in, & for my community goes back years.”
As more LGBT individuals are given positions of power, it creates more opportunities for learning about these identities. Twitter threads of people educating others about these identities have been cropping up in the replies of relevant tweets.
Some Twitter users have expressed concern over this, believing that those asking are merely attempting to start arguments or to troll.
As I scrolled through some of the replies, I could see many people who were genuinely unaware of what being nonbinary meant, yet were fully supportive after being educated about it. It’s an important reminder that not all ignorance of LGBT identities and issues is malicious. Not everyone has access to the same resources that you may have, so they may not have had a reliable way to educate themselves on the matter in the past.
Another benefit of the elections of LGBT individuals is the message it sends to younger people of the community. It tells them that there is room for them in the government, and more importantly, the world. It solidifies the validity of the identity for some, and for others it proves that dreams can be achieved, despite the hardships they might face due to their identities.
Congratulations to McBride and Turner, as well as the other LGBT people recently elected. I hope they remember where they came from and the fights of those from before their time, and I hope they have a plan for the fights in the future.