There have been at least seven Transgender people elected to office in 2020, most of those for the first time. From School Board to Senator every one of these transgender trailblazers deserves to be applauded. It’s our hope that these inspiring individuals will mark an end to what most in our community consider the worse year of their lives.
So many lavender ceilings shattered…so in no particular order.
Lisa Bunker (Democratic Party) ran for re-election to the New Hampshire House of Representatives to represent Rockingham 18. She won in the general election on November 3, 2020.
Rep Bunker along with Gerri Cannon were elected alongside each other as the state’s first transgender state legislators in 2018.
It was the 2016 election, Bunker says, that inspired her become involved in public service. “Like many other people,” she says, “I find myself in opposition to our current national administration. I reject its lies, division, fear-mongering, and bullying, and want to do all I can to stand up for truth, inclusion, trust, and basic human respect and decency.” Her campaign slogan is “Community. Courtesy. Compassion.”
Jill Rose Quinn said that she is looking forward to representing the trans community as a Cook County Judge.
“I think the bench, just like the legislature, just like the corporate atmosphere in this country- I think it can only benefit from the diversity and including everybody,” Quinn said.
After winning the Democratic primary by 66.8% with 481,580 votes earlier this year, Quinn ran unopposed in the general election.
She is the first openly trans elected official in Illinois.
Quinn will be the fourth openly trans judge in US history. Quinn first ran in 2018.
“One of the things that inspired me to run was that I met Phyllis Frye who was the first openly transgender attorney who made it on to the bench,” Quinn said.
Evelyn Rios Stafford was just elected Justice of The Peace (JP) for Washington County’s District 12 in Fayetteville Arkansas. She stepped down from her position as a Fayetteville Housing Authority Commissioner when Democrat Candy Clark suffered a stroke and was unable to continue with her campaign.
Justices of the Peace (JPs) in Arkansas are somewhat similar to City Council Members, but for County Government. JPs serve on the Quorum Court, which is the county’s legislative branch. JPs serve two-year terms. They control all spending and revenue for the county.
“I’m so excited to get to work as the next Justice of the Peace for Washington County’s District 12,” ” she wrote.
Stephanie Byers was elected to represent the 86th District in the Kansas Legislature on November 3, 2020. Byers, an out and proud transgender woman of color and member of the Chickasaw Nation announced her victory early Wednesday morning.
Byers, a retired band teacher at Wichita North High School, said throughout her campaign that being transgender is only part of her identity and she plans to focus on other issues, such as health care.
“We’ve done something in Kansas most people thought would never happen, and we did it with really no push-back, by just focusing on the issues,” Byers told The Wichita Eagle Tuesday evening.
But Byers acknowledged her election would give hope to the transgender community, particularly in deeply conservative Kansas.
“It helps those people who are transgender to reinforce that they are people who matter, they are people who are important and they’re people who can be successful in their lives,” she said
Transgender woman Brianna Titone (D) has won the race for House of Representatives District 27. “I just got the congratulations call from my opponent, so it’s official!’ she tweeted.
— Rep Brianna Titone – COHD27 (@BriannaForCO) November 4, 2020
Representative Titone was attacked with transphobic campaign ads that many said backfired leading to her Republican opponent’s loss.
BREAKING: @BriannaForCO just won reelection in Colorado’s HD-27!
Brianna is a geolochemist & software developer who was the first openly trans person ever elected to the legislature. pic.twitter.com/kD5PrNRJBy
— Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (@DLCC) November 4, 2020
Rep. Titone won the 2020 democratic primary with 17,469 votes. Her main challenger Vicki Pyne took the Republican primary with 10,199.
Detroit News reported that as of 6:30 am 11/4/2020 even with mail-in ballots still outstanding:
Brianna Titone (D) * 29,440 48.8%
Vicki Pyne (R) 27,521 45.6%
Cory Schaeffer (LB) 3,427 5.7%
— Rep Brianna Titone – COHD27 (@BriannaForCO) November 4, 2020
Taylor Small becomes Vermont’s first transgender state legislator with an overwhelming win in Winooski, Vt. The town’s website winooskivt.gov declared Taylor Small winner with 2212 votes last night. There are 5508 registed voters in Winooski, Vt. and of those 3734 cast ballots in the 2020 general election.
Before I ran in ’17, we had no out trans state legislators. In ’21, we’ll have 7.
— Danica Roem (@pwcdanica) November 4, 2020
Sarah McBride has won the Delaware general election becoming the first transgender State Senator. McBride announced her win on Twitter and Facebook and Instagram last night.
View this post on Instagram
The first thing she thought of was to give hope to our children.
“I hope tonight shows an LGBTQ kid that our democracy is big enough for them, too.”
We did it. We won the general election.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
— Sarah McBride (@SarahEMcBride) November 4, 2020
The LGBTQ Victory Fund which backed Sarah McBrides campaign released the following statement:
““Sarah’s overwhelming victory is a powerful testament to the growing influence of transgender leaders in our politics and gives hope to countless trans people looking toward a brighter future. Throughout this election cycle, Donald Trump and other cynical politicians attempted to use trans people as a political weapon, believing they could gain popularity by stoking fear and hate. For Sarah to shatter a lavender ceiling in such a polarizing year is a powerful reminder that voters are increasingly rejecting the politics of bigotry in favor of candidates who stand for fairness and equality. Her victory will inspire more trans people to follow in her footsteps and run for public office.”
In addition to McBride, there are four other non-incumbent trans-state legislative candidates endorsed by Victory Fund who are on the ballot tonight: Stephanie Byers of Kansas, Madeline Eden of Texas, Jessica Katzenmeyer of Wisconsin, and Taylor Small of Vermont. Small won earlier tonight. Three of the four out trans state legislators are up for reelection tonight: Lisa Bunker and Gerri Cannon in New Hampshire and Brianna Titone in Colorado. If all the incumbents and non-incumbents win tonight, the number of out trans state legislators could more than double, from four to nine.
Sarah McBride told The New Your Times the first report her win ““Whatever message is sent tonight to L.G.B.T.Q. people, that message isn’t sent by me, it’s sent by the voters,” Ms. McBride said. “I think that is the most important thing for me and all of us to remember.”
Geo Soctomah Neptune, (They Them), a Two Spirit educator, Master basket Maker, and Idle No More activist of the Passamaquoddy Tribe was elected to the Indian Township school board Wednesday. According to records Neptune has become the first non-binary trans person to be elected in the state of Maine.
Amsqahsewey ksehe etoli-enawotultimok! “They came in first in the race.”
This may seem to be cishet’s worst nightmare come true. They might be both right and wrong for a very, very long time. They are right to be fearful if the true nature of the Two Spirits conquers others’ fear of them exposing the hater’s true nature.
And they are wrong because Two Spirits aren’t othered. The peskotomuhkati people, like most First Nations, lived in their land peacefully before white Europeans came and pushed them off. In many of those tribes, two Spirit people lived and were and still are welcomed for their diversity and contributions to the collective. Recently Passamaquoddy historical recordings have been restored revealing the richness of their culture to their children.
We, by that I include myself having European ancestry, have a lot to learn. Let’s start today.
About their election the day before voting, Neptune told MaineTransNet, “I feel confident saying that I am a person who makes their opinions known, and is not afraid to speak out against injustice when I see it. I care for our culture very deeply and see the preservation of our language and other traditions for future generations as being my first priority. If working with the other members of the School Board, these would be my focuses when making decisions. Confidence in one’s cultural identity translates to confidence in life.”
“To my knowledge,” Neptune wrote on Facebook, “I am also the first Two-Spirit person to run for any kind of office in our community. I mention this because it is a big part of who I am; being transgender and non-binary is part of who I am, and part of who you would be electing, should you select my name.”
“A big part of dismantling tribal governments and working to colonize us as a people was specifically by flipping the switch from matriarchal to the patriarchal system,” Neptune said in an interview with Them in 2018. “We went from a place where women were in charge to a place where women and feminine people and Two-Spirits were disrespected because Native identity was almost a direct antithesis to patriarchy.”
The Maine Beacon which first reported there win reports that Neptune’s four-year school board term begins October 1st, 2020.
Geo Soctomah Neptune posted on Instagram “My mix is on SoundCloud–you should check it out! This song pretty accurately describes who I am and featured songs by some of my favorite artists–A Tribe Called Red and Lady Gaga!”
I took the liberty of embedding this mix set to autoplay so we could experience it while reading about Neptune, an incredible part of our universe.
Planet Trans has reached out to Rep-elect Mauree Turner office to clarify her gender status.