One Equal World

Two Transgender Candidates Win Democratic Primaries

Posted on: July 11, 2016

Image: Shutterstock

Image: Shutterstock

2016 has not been a banner year for transgender rights, with a number of states proposing, considering, or even passing “bathroom bills” that dictate what bathrooms, locker rooms, or other gendered facilities transgender people can use, usually based on the gender they were assigned at birth. The lives of transgender people are being pulled out into the public eye whether they like it or not, and their existence is being treated like a talking point similar to trade or gun control: something a politician is for or against.

But it’s not all bad, and the attention that transgender people are receiving is helping to bring their troubles to light and, in some cases, things are looking up. The United States military has decided that transgender people can serve openly, and two transgender candidates for the United States Senate have won their primaries, making them the first transgender candidates to that office.

There have been openly transgender people serving in political office before, but they’re few and far between, and they’ve generally come out after being elected. For many of them, coming out, or being outed by the press or political rivals, has generally spelled the end of their political careers. But this is the first time openly transgender people have run for such high office. Misty Snow of Utah, and Misty Plowright of Colorado, are running for seats in generally conservative districts in their respective states. While their hopes of winning those elections seem kind of thin, the fact remains that this is a big step for the transgender community.

Transgender people face more discrimination and violence than pretty much anyone else in the LGBT+ community. To see not one but two transgender people not only willing to run openly, but also getting the nomination, means that people are starting to come around to the idea that transgender people are just that: people. And who knows, maybe one of them (or both!) will win, and score some victories for the transgender community.

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