10 Queer Women of Color Who Won on Election Night

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Marie Pinkney

(Photo via Pinkney's Facebook)

While we await the results of the presidential election which will have major repercussions for the LGBTQ community, it does look like a record-breaking number of LGBTQ candidates won at the ballot box on election night. These ten LGBTQ women of color’s victories are part of 2020s rainbow wave.

 

Paty Baca

Judge, Texas 346th District Court

Paty Baca

(Photo via campaign for Paty Baca)

Paty Baca leads a busy life in El Paso, where she was born and raised by parents who were both born in Chihuahua, Mexico. She’s an Assistant District Attorney and has two young children with her partner. Her twenty years of experience as an attorney and ADA has focused on domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse.

 

Stephanie Byers

Kansas State Representative, District 86

Byers

(Photo courtesy of Byers for Kansas)

A member of the Chickasaw Nation, Stephanie Byers not only became the first out transgender person ever elected to the Kansas State House last night, but also the first out trans person of color ever elected to any state legislature in the country. After recently retiring from a nearly 30-year career as a teacher in Wichita Public Schools, Byers will embark on a new path when she takes office.

 

Sharice Davids

U.S. Representative, Kansas

Sharice Davids

(Photo by Kristie Boyd)

A first-generation college student who was raised by a single mother, Representative Sharice Davids won re-election last night. When she was first elected in 2018, she became one of the two first Native American women to serve in the U.S. Congress.

 

Leslie Herod

Colorado State Representative, District 8

Leslie Herod

(Photo: Robin Flemming, Tagg Magazine)

Representative Leslie Herod became the first LGBTQ Black person to be elected to Colorado’s House of Representatives in 2016, and last night she won her re-election. Her work over the last four years has included multiple bills on criminal justice reform.

 

Kim Jackson

Georgia State Senator, District 41

Kim Jackson

(Photo via Kim Jackson Facebook)

Episcopal priest Kim Jackson became the first openly LGBTQ person elected to the Georgia State Senate last night, adding to the small number of openly LGBTQ Black women state senators across the country. Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund, said: “Kim shattered a lavender ceiling and is paving the way for a state government that is more representative of the people it serves.”

 

Tiara Mack

Rhode Island State Senator, District 6

Tiara Mack

(Photo via Victory Fund)

Raised in the South, Tiara Mack moved to Providence in 2012 to attend Brown University and stayed. The 26-year-old defeated a 15-year incumbent in the September primary. Mack told Ballotpedia, “When I was younger, I never thought someone like me, a Black queer woman, could have a seat at the table. Now I believe we can bring the table home to us.”

 

Marie Pinkney

Delaware State Senator, District 13

Marie Pinkney

(Photo via Pinkney’s Facebook)

While Delaware’s Sarah McBride is making headlines for her election as the first trans state senator last night, Marie Pinkney also became the first Black lesbian to be elected to the Delaware State Senate. Pinkney is a social worker who fostered a teen mom and her young son for many years.

Michele Rayner-Goolsby

Florida State Representative, District 70

Michele Rayner-Goolsby

(Photo via micheleforflorida.com)

After winning her competitive August primary, which cleared her way for an easy victory last night, Michele Rayner-Goolsby tweeted: “Y’all. It just hit me. I’m the first openly Black queer women ever elected in Florida-at any level. Our team was led by a Black woman. It was anchored by women and women of color. We won because we defined ourselves for ourselves. Brb- I’m crying now.”

 

Evelyn Rios Stafford

Arkansas Justice of the Peace, Washington County District 12

Evelyn Rios Stafford

(Photo via Facebook)

Evelyn Rios Stafford is the first trans person to hold elected office in Arkansas history. She is an Emmy Award winning former journalist and has served on the board of the Transgender Law Center for five years.

 

Helen Whitener

Washington Supreme Court Justice, Position 6

Helen Whitener

(Photo via YouTube)

Justice G. Helen Whitener was installed to the Washington State Supreme Court in April, but needed to win on the ballot last night to keep her new position—and she did. She is the first Black LGBTQ judge in the state of Washington.

 

 

 

 

 

Sarah Prager
Sarah Prager
Sarah Prager is a writer living in Massachusetts with her wife and their two children. She is the author of the award-winning Queer, There, and Everywhere: 23 People Who Changed the World and Rainbow Revolutionaries: 50 LGBTQ+ People Who Made History. Her writing has also appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, HuffPost, Bustle, JSTOR Daily, and GO Magazine, among others. www.sarahprager.com.