Five LGBTQ+ Politicians Make History On Election Day

These trailblazers are providing diverse representation in political offices across the country.

Election Day saw LGBTQ+ leaders make history.

At least five politicians who openly identify as either gay or transgender took power for the first time as high-ranking officials in Congress and State Legislature.

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Sarah McBride will be the first and only openly transgender state senator when she takes her seat representing Delaware. She is also the first openly transgender person elected to political office in that state.

“I hope tonight shows an LGBTQ kid that our democracy is big enough for them, too,” McBride, 30, tweeted Tuesday night.. “As Delaware continues to face the Covid crisis, it’s time to get to work to invest in the policies that will make a difference for working families.”

She was also the first transgender person to speak at a major political convention when she took the stage at the Democratic National Committee Convention in 2016.

Ritchie Torres and Mondaire Jones made history as the first openly gay Black men elected to Congress.

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Both Democratic officials won their seats in New York; Torres, 32, will represent the 15th District, while Jones, 33, will do the same for the 17th District.

“Thank you. Tonight, we made history,” Torres tweeted after the results were made official.  “It is the honor of a lifetime to represent the essential borough, the Bronx.”

Jones took to social media on Wednesday morning to celebrate, writing, “Growing up, I never imagined someone like me could run for Congress, let alone get elected. To grow up poor, Black, and gay is to not see yourself anywhere. Now, I am honored to have the opportunity of a lifetime.”

In Vermont, Taylor Small will have the distinction of being the first transgender person to serve in the state Legislature.

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The 26-year-old director of the health and wellness program at Vermont’s Pride Center said she was shocked to hear the results of her landmark win. “It hasn’t fully sunk in yet, and I don’t know when it will,” Small told the Burlington Free Press.

And Kansas has welcomed Stephanie Byers as the first transgender person to its state Legislature. She is also the first transgender person of color to take the seat, as she is a member of the Native American Chickasaw Nation.

The retired teacher told The Wichita Eagle, “If Kansas, the big red Republican state, can elect a trans person to a state legislator, the doors open up in a lot of other places for people.”

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