Transgender elects shine new light on LGBTQ rights

 

Danica Roem, member of Virginia House of Delagates, peacefully protests in front of the White House during an LGBT rally. Photo by TED EYTAN.

BY MILES PREKOSKI

A historic election day was held this November, with six different transgender politicians being elected across the country, sparking new debates over politics such as the military transgender ban and renewing related conversations about student life on the Carmel High School campus.

Danica Roem became the first openly transgender elect to be seated in state legislature, beating her 13-term opponent Robert G. Marshall, who calls himself Virginia’s “chief homophobe.” Marshall also planned to place a ‘bathroom bill’ to restrict public bathroom use by transgender people.

Along with Roem, Lisa Middleton (D-Calif.) of Palm Springs City Council, Tyler Titus (D-Pa.) of Erie School Board, Stephe Koontz (D-Ga.) of Doraville City Council and Raven Matherne (D-Conn.) of Stamford each won their respective elections, ranging from city council seats to seats of Congress and have stated hopes of changing recent policies, bringing light to new issues in the U.S., like the transgender ban in the military.

These officials were some of the first to campaign as transgender advocates and were all open with voters about being transgender, something that hasn’t happened before.

CHS sophomore Tristan Bowen, a member of the diversity club and the LGBT community, couldn’t be more pleased about the recent political advancements.

“I love this sudden uproar of several political figures being advocates for their community,” Bowen says. “I also believe that many policies will be placed to provide equality on all levels as well as repeals relating to discrimination laws and abused laws.”

The CHS Diversity Club focuses on sharing its ideas and beliefs relating to the most recent issues in society, such as the backlash against the LGBT community and support for the Black Lives Matter movement. Kylie Yeatman, a sophomore girl and member of the LGBT community, shares her perspective on the issue.

“I think it’s really interesting, and it’s definitely a good development that more opportunities are open to transgender people and that more people are willing to vote for somebody and look at their policies instead of for just who they are as a person,” Yeatman says.

These politicians have noted plans to address the transgender military ban put in place in late August by the Trump administration. Lawsuits have been filed against the ban, many of them by transgender service members hoping to serve again in the military, according to a report from the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

CHS Diversity Club adviser and computer science teacher Tom Clifford weighs in on the recent elections.

“It’s an indication that people are changing their beliefs about gender, that it’s no longer a binary situation and to have people elected it means that people are not getting hung up on what one’s gender identity is,” Clifford says. “It’s more on who the person is and if they can represent me as a citizen of this community.”

This year is especially historic, simply because all transgender politicians elected this year were openly transgender, something that has never occurred in the history of U.S. elections

Freshman Ananda Sudol says, “I think that we’re heading into the right direction, knowing that they’re more comfortable with what may not have been typical in the past years.”