Editorial: Embrace the rainbow wave


by Belle Ward, Features Editor

As I’m sure everyone knows, the midterm elections took place Tuesday. Attending the watch party hosted at Simpson College was tense, as multiple candidates across the country won elections by a few percentage points.

This election is a noteworthy one, because according to Victory Fund, a national organization dedicated to electing LGBTQ individuals into government, 400 open LGBTQ candidates were on the ballot.

Colorado Democratic Rep. Jared Polis became the first openly gay man to be elected as governor in the U.S. He dedicated part of his victory speech to those who came before him.

“For the LGBTQ pioneers, for equality in the generations before me. Who endured so much hardship and hurt to make it possible for so many of us, myself included, to live and to love openly and proudly,” Polis said.

According to The Associated Press, Kansas’ 3rd Congressional District elected Democratic candidate Sharice Davids. Davids is the first Native American woman elected to Congress, as well as Kansas’ first gay representative.

Michigan Democratic candidate Dana Nessel was elected to become the state’s attorney general. According to the Detroit Free Press, Nessel previously represented two Michigan women who won the right to marry and adopt their children legally. This case was groundbreaking, as it gained attention and went to the U.S. Supreme Court, eventually giving same-sex couples the right to marry in all 50 states.

With recent fears about how the Trump administration will be affecting transgender individuals, being able to see more representation come forward means more voices in support of rights to gender identity and expression is a sigh of relief.

These and other elections across the country show the progress the U.S. is making in terms of diversity. As a lesbian woman, watching the “rainbow wave” bring LGBTQ individuals into power makes me incredibly proud of the midterm voters.

Every individual deserves to be heard and respected; with more LGBTQ individuals elected, LGBTQ issues will be understood by mainstream voters. The right for same-sex couples to marry passed not too terribly long ago in 2015. The LGBTQ community still has more to fight for before equality can be achieved, with examples such as violence, bathroom access and discrimination. However, the midterm elections are a step in a positive direction.

LGBTQ individuals will not be erased from history. This group of individuals across the spectrum gives myself and others hope that our country will continue to change for the better with engaged citizens and politicians.