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.
Judge, Texas 346th District Court
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.
Kansas State Representative, District 86
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.
U.S. Representative, Kansas
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.
Colorado State Representative, District 8
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.
Georgia State Senator, District 41
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.”
Rhode Island State Senator, District 6
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.”
Delaware State Senator, District 13
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.
Florida State Representative, District 70
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.”
Arkansas Justice of the Peace, Washington County District 12
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.
Washington Supreme Court Justice, Position 6
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.