Last night at the polls, queer people ushered in more than a few exciting wins. And while the Presidential race is still looking as messy as ever, it’s important to celebrate the smaller-level wins that queer advocates and allies—with the help of the Gen Z vote—secured for us.
It’s a film for the queerdos who’d Naruto run in grade school and the aggravated teens who’d stay up at 4 am watching anime.
We saw that most voters—even those in red states—overwhelmingly don’t support anti-trans legislation. Not only that, but several red states elected to guarantee the right to abortion, a huge win in a post-Roe world.
Here are just a few of the exciting takeaways from Tuesday:
Danica Roem became Virginia’s first openly-trans State Senator
After a vicious race, longtime Virginia politician Danica Roem made history by beating out opponent Bill Woolf by three whole percentage points. In a year defined by anti-trans attacks and legislation, this was a huge win for Virginia and proof that the average voter isn’t swayed by the right’s anti-trans scare tactics. Roem is the second trans woman in history to serve on state Senate, after Delaware rep Sarah McBride.
Ohio and Kentucky protected the right to abortion
In historic red or swing states like Ohio, Kentucky, and Virginia, the people chose to fight back against the loss of Roe by electing to protect the right to abortion. Ohio passed an amendment to the state constitution guaranteeing the right to choice, while in Kentucky, Democratic candidate Andy Beshear, a supporter of abortion rights, won against the staunchly anti-choice Republican Daniel Cameron. In Virginia, where Danica Roem is now the first openly-trans state Senator, voters held off anti-abortion Republican Glen Youngkin, spelling hope for the future of the pro-choice movement in the state.
Gen Z voters showed up at the polls
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Gen Z showed up in droves in key states like Virginia, Ohio, and Texas to help make these victories happen. Students waited in long lines to make sure their votes were counted, and we’re seeing renewed hope in battleground states because of it.
Gen Z isn’t going to stand by and let their basic human rights be taken away, and the turnout may have helped advance more progressive measures and candidates in key states. By next year, over 8 million Gen Zers will become eligible to vote, and it might just usher in the blue boost we need.
Anti-trans legislature was overwhelmingly rejected
Just as we figured, the smokescreen of anti-trans legislation headed up by Texas and Florida, including sports bans, book bans, and “Don’t Say Gay” laws, aren’t the people’s actual priority. Instead of falling for the anti-trans propaganda, voters are focusing on the real issues. Perhaps nothing illustrates this better than the fact that Moms for Liberty was practically booed off the national stage in places like Virginia, Iowa, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky.
The fight is just beginning
In short: they can try to take away trans kids’ rights to a happy childhood, they can try and ban our books and our ability to do what we want with our bodies, but they can’t stop the beat. With the help of the new surge of young queer voters, the future is looking a little brighter than it was before.
Read More in Impact
The Latest on INTO
Subscribe to get a twice-weekly dose of queer news, updates, and insights from the INTO team.
in Your Inbox