"We don’t just want a seat at the table — we want to set the table.”
By
Michaela Morgan

9 Nov 2017 - 3:45 PM  UPDATED 9 Nov 2017 - 3:48 PM

News broke yesterday that transgender woman Danica Roem had been elected to Virginia's senate—but she wasn’t the only trans person who claimed success in yesterday’s elections across the United States. 

The Human Rights Campaign reports that at least seven transgender people were elected to public office, including two trans people of colour. 

In Minnesota, Andrea Jenkins made history by becoming the first transgender woman of colour to be elected to public office in the state. 

“As an out African-American trans-identified woman, I know first-hand the feeling of being marginalised, left out, thrown under the bus,” Jenkins said in a statement

“Those days are over. We don’t just want a seat at the table — we want to set the table.” 

Jenkins will be joined on the Minneapolis City Council by Phillipe Cunningham—a black queer trans man who has worked as a youth advocate and special education teacher. 

“As of today, I am the first transgender man of colour ever elected to office in the US and the first transgender man period to ever be elected to a City Council of a major US city,” Cunningham wrote on Facebook

“I am also the first person of colour to represent the 4th Ward.

“Whenever I remember this, I get choked up for a second because it’s just a reminder to me how my ancestors and elders fought so long and so hard for me to be here. 

“Then, I remember there will never be another generation born in this country where Black flamboyant boys, butch girls (with whom I will always share a kinship), and transmasculine boys won’t have an example that even the honour being elected as representatives of our communities is possible for them.”

In addition, trans women Lisa Middleton and Stephe Koontz were elected to the Palm Springs City Council and the Doraville City Council, respectively. 

Tyler Titus became the first out trans person to win an election in Pennsylvania and Geri Cannon—a trans woman and member of PFLAG—was elected to the Somersworth School Board in New Hampshire. 

The wins have been hailed as a huge step forward for transgender rights in the United States. 

Twitter users have also been quick to point out the work of trailblazing trans politician, Althea Garrison. 

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