Transgender Awareness Week: Checking in on the #RainbowWave – Including Historic Wins for Transgender People

2018 has been a year of landmark moments for the transgender community, leading to increased visibility and awareness across the country. This week, to mark Transgender Awareness Week, we’re taking a look back at the year and shining a light on ways that understanding and acceptance of the transgender community has grown. Take a look, and come back Monday for the third and final part in this special Transgender Awareness Week series. Click here to read Part 1 (about policy victories for transgender people at the state and local level).

While many of the headlines this year have centered on the White House’s attacks against transgender people, month after month we’ve seen just how out of step the Administration is from everyday Americans’ views of transgender people. In state after state this year, Americans have stood up and spoken out in defense of transgender people, rallying against discrimination, calling their lawmakers, and voting directly to protect transgender people from harm.

Just two weeks ago in Massachusetts, voters resoundingly supported nondiscrimination protections for transgender people. On Election Day, a supermajority of Massachusetts voters – 68% – upheld protections for their transgender neighbors, making a definitive statement that discrimination is not an American value.

On Election Day 2018, more transgender candidates were on the ballot than at any other point in history. 2018 saw candidates run at all levels of government, from city councils to seats in state legislatures to state governorships.

Christine Hallquist became the first ever openly transgender person to run as a gubernatorial candidate on a major party ticket when she ran as the Democratic nominee for the governor of Vermont. While she did not clinch the position, she blazed an important trail and broke a crucial threshold for visibility of transgender people.

Three transgender people were elected to serve in state legislatures this year as well! Gerri Cannon and Lisa Bunker will serve in the New Hampshire House, and Brianna Titone triumphed to become a Representative for Colorado. Their wins follow Danica Roem’s 2017 victory, when she became a State Delegate of Virginia, the first out transgender person ever elected to a state legislature.

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