James Roesener has become the first out trans man ever to be elected to a state legislature in the United States, according to the LGBTQ Victory Fund, which funds and promotes openly LGBTQ candidates.
Roesener, a 26-year-old Democrat, won New Hampshire’s 22nd State House District, Ward 8. According to his bio, he lives in Concord, New Hampshire, with his wife and cat.
“Tonight is a resounding win for New Hampshire and for trans people across the country, with James shattering a lavender ceiling and proving that America is ready for trans men leaders in our state legislatures,” said Mayor Annise Parker, president and CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund, in a statement.
Roesener is part of what LGBTQ Victory Fund calls a “rainbow wave” of LGBTQ candidates in the U.S. who ran for office amid aggressive anti-LGBTQ—and specifically anti-trans—campaigns. Republicans spent tens of millions of dollars on ads targeting trans people in at least 25 states, and trans rights were on the ballot as anti-trans rhetoric escalates and conservative candidates continue to introduce anti-trans policies, including restrictive bathroom rules and bans on gender-affirming care for minors.
According to LGBTQ Victory Fund, a record number of LGBTQ candidates have won seats this year: So far at least 340 out LGBTQ candidates have won in the midterms—breaking the 2020 record of 336. More victories are expected in the coming days, the group reported.
In another historic victory, Massachusetts Democrat Maura Healey, 51, has become the first out lesbian in U.S. history to be elected governor. Healey, who beat out Trump-endorsed Republican Geoff Diehl, will also be the state’s first woman governor. She was previously the state’s first lesbian attorney general, and has a track record of championing trans rights.
“With her in the statehouse, LGBTQ+ youth across Massachusetts and the United States will get to see that they are represented at the highest levels of government, and that they can achieve anything they set their minds on,” said Human Rights Campaign Interim President Joni Madison.
Elsewhere, Eric Sorensen is the first ever LGBTQ candidate elected to Congress from Illinois, and Montana got its first elected trans woman state legislator, Zooey Zephyr. In Minnesota, U.S. Rep. Angie Craig was re-elected, and remains the state’s only LGBTQ representative in Congress.
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