This election cycle, we saw the number of attack ads against trans Americans skyrocket. Right-wing groups like America First Legal and Citizens for Sanity, which were launched by former Trump aides, spent millions to target the trans community, especially in battleground states. Much of these inflammatory ads focused on trans youth or LGBTQ-positive curriculum in schools.
These ads are a continuation of the long-running smear campaign that extremists have been leading against the LGBTQ community. We’ve seen their hateful tactics and language before. Thankfully, these desperate last-minute attacks failed, and LGBTQ people made historic gains during the midterms!
This was a historic election to begin with. LGBTQ candidates were running in all 50 U.S. states for the first time in history. We saw a rainbow wave on election night with more than 500 LGBTQ candidates winning their races. Trans and non-binary people made historic gains in representation, overcoming anti-trans legislation and disinformation campaigns. These historic victories show that Americans aren’t responding to anti-trans attack ads – they’re ready to elect leaders who will fight for them and equality for all.
Here are some of the historic victories we saw on election night:
- New Hampshire elected James Roesener to the state House, where he made history as the first out trans man elected to a state legislature in the entire country.
- In Montana, Zooey Zephyr – who stepped up to run after an anti-trans bill passed in the state – and SJ Howell became the first out trans person and first out non-binary person elected to the body, respectively.
- In Minnesota, Leigh Finke became the first out trans person elected to the state House and one of 11 total LGBTQ candidates to win a seat in the legislature.
With waves of anti-trans legislation flooding every level of government, we must continue to stand with our trans candidates and ensure they have the resources to win – and lead. Our community is accepting of all – and we will continue fighting for all.
If you are an out candidate running at any level of government, we want to hear from you! Learn more about our endorsement process or sign up for an endorsement here.
More information about all of Victory Fund’s endorsed candidates is available at victoryfund.org/ourcandidates. Since 1991, Victory Fund has helped thousands of out LGBTQ candidates win local, state and federal elections.