TL;DR: The midterm elections in the US dominated headlines this week as results flew in. More LGBTQIA+ candidates won their elections than ever before, putting the future of queer rights in the country in the capable hands of our own. But buckle up for wins, losses, and some drama along the way.
The 2022 midterm elections are a huge moment in US politics.
They mark the midpoint of Biden’s presidential term, and saw all seats in the House of Representatives up for grabs alongside a third of seats in the Senate.
This is the first time in US history an LGBTQIA+ candidate was on the ballot in all 50 states.
Who was elected?
Democrat Maura Healey won the gubernatorial election in Massachussetts, and became the first openly lesbian governor elected in the US. In her victory speech, she said: “To every little LGBTQ kid out there, I hope tonight shows that you can be whomever you want to be.”
Leigh Finke will be the first transgender legislator in Minnesota, after winning 81 per cent of the vote in her district. Previously a filmmaker for the American Civil Liberties Union, she told CBS that in the wake of increasing violence against the trans community, “I just felt like it was absolutely essential to have someone from our community in those rooms.”
James Roesner, 26, became the first trans man elected to US state legislature, winning in New Hampshire’s 22nd district. He is also bisexual, and will campaign to remove barriers to “shelter, education, healthcare, voting, and other basic necessities for a quality life.”
Other historic wins include Robert Garcia becoming the first LGBTQIA+ immigrant elected to Congress, Becca Balint becoming the first woman and openly gay person elected to the House of Representatives in Vermont, Liz Bennett becoming the first queer person elected to the Iowa State Senate and Patricia Contreras becoming the first lesbian Latina elected to state legislature.
What else happened?
Anti-LGBTQ+ Republican Lauren Boebert went very quiet after declaring “the red wave has begun” on Twitter, as her rival Adam Frisch narrowly began winning the race for her Congress seat in Colorado - The Independent
However the race remained close, with Boebert pulling ahead at points. At the time of writing, the vote is too close to call.
Ron DeSantis - infamous for passing Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law - was reelected as Florida’s governer - PinkNewsDonald Trump promised a “big announcement” to come next week, widely believed to be his bid for the presidency in 2024 - BBC
At the time of writing, the Republican party seems poised to take control of both the Senate and the House of Representatives.
The Democrats have held a slim majority in the House for the past two years, so many LGBTQIA+ people are fearful of what may change as Republicans take control.
After the landmark overturning of Roe v Wade in June, fears have circulated that same-sex marriage could be under threat, although Republicans deny this.
But in a time of turmoil for queer people in the US, every bill counts. Over 300 bills have been introduced in 2022 that threaten our rights, especially those of transgender people.
During times of political turmoil, it’s vital to stay educated on the battles our queer siblings face around the world, and uplift their voices, stories and campaigns.
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