A Rainbow in the White House

LGBTQ+ voices have long been absent from the United States government. Thanks to the 2020 election, that may no longer be the case.

More+LGBTQ%2B+representatives+than+ever+were+elected+in+2020

Pete Souza

More LGBTQ+ representatives than ever were elected in 2020

In the 2020 election, more openly LGBTQ+ senators and legislators were elected than ever before.  Some people may not have heard of many of them or their accomplishments, so here is a rundown of who some of them are, what they’ve done, and what they hope to accomplish while in office. 

Michele Rayner-Goolsby is the first Black queer female state legislator in Florida. She is a lawyer and founded the law firm Civil Liberty Law. She previously served on the Florida Bar’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee and helped found the Women Lawyers of Pasco County. She is an advocate for criminal justice reform, health and economic disparities, and race and gender issues. 

Shevrin Jones is the first LGBTQ+ state senator in Florida. He is the executive director of Florida Reading Corps, a program that tries to get children reading by third grade. He is a former AP chemistry teacher in South Florida. He founded an organization called LEAD, a youth organization to train leadership development skills. His goals are to raise the minimum wage to fifteen dollars per hour, reform the criminal justice system, and support small businesses in Florida. 

Taylor Small is the first transgender state legislator in Vermont. She serves as the Director of the Health and Wellness program at Pride Center of Vermont, an organization designed to help the LGBTQ+ community of Vermont. Her goals are to improve the state-wide curriculum in Vermont schools to include more minority groups, improve mental health services, and to defund the Vermont State Police by 30%, and redistribute these funds to schools and youth homelessness programs. 

Jabari Brisport is the first LGBTQ+ person of color elected to the New York State Senate. He is a public school teacher. He is a community organizer who pushes for “progressive legislation, including hard-fought wins in marriage equality and tenant protections.” His goals are to build support for working people, implement the Green New Deal, and to guarantee quality health care for all.

Kim Jackson is the first LGBTQ+ person elected to the Georgia state Senate. She volunteered as an EMT before becoming a priest. Her goals are to ensure free and quality public education for every child, the expansion of public transportation, and to implement a comprehensive anti-discrimination bill to help marginalized communities in Georgia.

show young members of the community that they are valid and deserve to have a say in the United States government. ”

Mauree Turner is the first non-binary Muslim state lawmaker in the United States. She is an Oklahoma state legislator. She is the current Regional Field Director for the Campaign for Smart Justice, which is an organization that focuses on criminal justice reform. She is a community organizer who focuses on racial justice, LGBTQ+ rights, religious freedom, and reproductive rights. Her goals while in office are to raise the Oklahoma minimum wage to twelve dollars, making healthcare more affordable for people who need it and to raise the wages of teachers to help improve the education system. 

Sarah McBride is the highest-ranking transgender public official in the United States. She is from Delaware and previously worked in the Obama administration. She has worked to advance non-discrimination laws in Delaware and also has helped pass legislation to protect vulnerable youth from abuse. She serves as a spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign and has written a book called Tomorrow Will Be Different. Her goals are to expand healthcare for senior citizens, to enact more “common-sense gun safety laws,” and to invest in green and renewable energy. 

Ritchie Torres is the first LGBTQ+ Afro-Latino congressman. He is from the Bronx, and at twenty-five years old became the youngest elected official in New York City. His goals are to lower amounts of lead in New York City water, to implement a bill that would create more mental health services for LGBTQ+ teens, and has proposed creating an Office of School Diversity to help get rid of school segregation in New York City. 

Mondaire Jones is the first openly gay Black member of Congress. He served in the Obama administration on the Office of Legal Policy at the Department of Justice. After, he became an attorney and represented defendants who could not afford legal counsel. His goals are to increase public participation in our electoral process and “get big money out of politics,” to establish healthcare for all, and to support women’s reproductive rights. 

The LGBTQ+ community has long been underrepresented in government.  Seeing more LGBTQ+ representatives elected will not only help the voices in the community be heard but also show young members of the community that they are valid and deserve to have a say in the United States government.