5 LGBTQ+ Womxn Who Won

American University Alumna Sarah McBride made history this past week as the highest-ranking transgender elected official and the first openly transgender person to serve anywhere in the nation. While people across the nation celebrate this historic victory, there are several other people that we should celebrate. In fact, 1,006 LGBTQ candidates ran in 2020 and each and every one of them should be celebrated for their courage and hard work. Most notably, you should know these five LGBTQ+ womxn who won their races and how they have been and will continue to advocate for LGBTQ+ womxn like you and me.

Sarah McBride (she/her)

Sarah McBride’s LGBTQ+ strides began in 2012 after becoming the first transgender womxn to work at the White House in any capacity. Since then, she has worked for transgender advocacy groups including Equality Delaware. Her work helped expand Medicaid in Delaware, protect children from abuse, and protect transgender rights in Delaware and across the nation. Now, as a state senator, McBride will have the opportunity to push for LGBTQ+ protections and progress, among other issues. McBride’s state senate campaign focused on improving affordable healthcare, expanding paid leave, passing universal pre-K, and reforming the criminal justice system.

Michele Rayner-Goolsby (she/her)

Michele Rayner Goolsby is the first black queer womxn elected to the Florida state legislature. As a lawyer, she fought for civil liberties through Civil Liberty Law and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. She also worked as an aide in the Florida State legislature. Rayner’s state legislature campaign focused on housing, healthcare, education, criminal justice reform, and environmental justice.

Taylor Small (she/her)

Taylor Small is the first transgender state legislator in Vermont. Small spent her career improving physical and mental health for LGBTQ+ individuals. Before running for office, she served as the director of the Health & Wellness program at the Pride Center of Vermont and worked at Howard Center and Northwestern Counseling and Support Services. In these positions, she has advocated for more cultural competency, evidence-based interventions, and supportive environments for LGBTQ+ youth. Small’s state legislature campaign centered around affordable healthcare, affordable housing, a livable minimum wage, and progressive social issues among other things.

Kim Jackson (she/her)

Kim Jackson is the first openly LGBTQ+ person elected to the Georgia senate. She has spent her adult life as an Episcopalian priest and a social activist. After graduating from college, Jackson served as an EMT while also mobilizing her colleagues to advocate for criminal justice reform. In 2018, she was recognized by the Georgia House of Representatives for her “tireless efforts on behalf of the disenfranchised, disenchanted, and dispossessed.” Among the many progressive social issues Jackson ran on for the state senate, she focused on progressive economic reforms, criminal justice, and gun reform, and accessible and inclusive healthcare.

Mauree Turner (she/her and they/them)

Mauree Turner is the first non-binary Muslim state lawmaker in the U.S. They were the regional field director for Campaign for Smart Justice, an ACLU campaign, and have worked with the NAACP of Oklahoma. Her previous work advocated for racial justice, religious freedoms, LGBTQ+ rights, and reproductive rights, so it is no surprise that her state legislature campaign centered on all kinds of justice reform, education, healthcare, and bridge-building to improve representation in government and community understanding.

Even without winning a seat in the state legislature or senate, each of these amazing womxn deserves recognition for their work in advancing rights for LGBTQ+, POC, and WOC. Now that they have the power to influence and implement laws, they have more ability to protect trans rights, push for inclusive education, and justly develop and improve institutions such as education and healthcare. Moreover, these LGBTQ+ womxn in office may inspire other LGBTQ+ political campaigns. At the very least, seeing these womxn in positions of power will prove to LGBTQ+ youth that they can do anything and they are valued here. I, for one, wish my younger self could have seen such inspiration.

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Photos: Her Campus Media Library