In May, Karine Jean-Pierre became the first Black and openly LGBTQ+ person and immigrant to serve as White House press secretary.
Before she fielded questions from reporters on her first day, Jean-Pierre acknowledged the historic nature of her position and credited “generations of barrier-breaking people” that she said paved the way for her, Insider’s Nicole Gaudiano and Oma Seddiq reported.
“I am obviously acutely aware that my presence at this podium represents a few firsts. I am a Black, gay, immigrant woman, the first of all three of those to hold this position,” she said. “If it were not for generations of barrier-breaking people before me, I would not be here. But I benefit from their sacrifices. I have learned from their excellence, and I am forever grateful to them.”
In June, drag queen Maebe A. Girl became the first trans nonbinary person to advance to a general election for a seat in the House of Representatives.
Girl, who uses both “she” and “they” pronouns, ran to represent California’s 30th District. She told the Los Angeles Times that “there’s a lot of crossover” between doing drag and campaigning.
“When I do drag, I host a lot of shows,” they said. “I’m on the mic, listening to people, engaging with people. It’s really not very dissimilar from being in a political setting where I’m giving a campaign speech. I used every drag show that I’m in to speak about politics and speak about my policies and let folks know about our campaigns. It’s actually been a really wonderful tool.”
Girl was defeated by incumbent Adam Schiff.
In August, Jessica Katzenmeyer became the first trans woman to win a primary in the state of Wisconsin.
Katzenmeyer is running to represent district 5 in Wisconsin’s state senate. If she wins in the midterms, she will be the state’s first out transgender state senator.
“Representation matters because having a body of government represented by a diverse population will bring new ideas to the table,” Katzenmeyer told Insider. “Being trans is a big part of my identity, but people should vote for me because they know that I’ll fight for them.”
Her election against Republican Rob Hutton has not yet been called.
In November, two openly LGBTQ+ candidates ran against each other in a congressional race for the first time in US history.
Democrat Robert Zimmerman and Republican George Santos, both openly gay, faced off in the midterms in a bid to represent New York’s 3rd congressional district. The nature of the election itself is already historic, and whoever wins will become the first openly LGBTQ+ person to represent the New York district, The Hill reported.
The race has not yet been called.
Maura Healey made history as the first openly lesbian governor elected in the US when she won her Massachusetts gubernatorial race.
Healey, who was also the first openly LGBTQ state attorney general, defeated Republican opponent state Rep. Geoff Diehl to become governor of Massachusetts.
“I hope tonight shows you that you can be whatever, whoever you want to be,” she said in her victory speech, NBC News reported. “And nothing and no one can ever get in your way except your own imagination, and that’s not going to happen.”
Becca Balint’s midterm victory made her the first woman and first LGBTQ+ person to represent Vermont in Congress.
Vermont was the only state that had never sent a woman to Congress until Balint defeated Republican opponent Liam Madden.
“Today, we reaffirmed that Vermont, and this nation, is still a place where anything is possible,” Balint wrote in an Instagram caption on election night. “We’re still capable of change and progress. Tonight, after 231 years, Vermonters are sending a woman and openly gay person to Congress for the first time.”