Yesterday We Won. Today, We Keep Fighting.

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November 8, 2017
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Photo by: Ted Eytan
Virginia's newest state legislator, Danica Roem.

You’ve seen the headlines. Last night was an exhilarating tonic. 

Yesterday’s elections brought victories large and small. In state and local races, a half-dozen transgender people were elected into office. Lesbian, gay and bisexual candidates won in county, city and school board races around the country.

Danica Roem will join Virginia’s House of Delegates. To make it even sweeter, Danica beat a state legislator who had crusaded against the LGBT community for his 25 years in office — a man proud to call himself Virginia’s “chief homophobe.” And he lived up to his self-appointed title: he penned a hateful anti-trans “bathroom bill” this past year, declined to debate Roem and staunchly refused to use her correct pronouns during the campaign. And then she beat him in the race.

Yup – a trans woman beat the author of Virginia’s anti-trans bathroom bill. Poetic justice.

More great news: Andrea Jenkins will take her seat on the Minneapolis City Council. Andrea Jenkins is a longtime activist, and the first Black openly-transgender woman elected to any public office in the U.S.

These are just a few of the momentous victories of yesterday. May they represent glimmers of hope in an otherwise dark time. Our country elected an anti-gay, anti-trans President, but our community is fighting back.

The proof of our resilience is in these victories.

It is also in the thousands of new supporters whose gifts and messages of encouragement and solidarity poured in to Lambda Legal during the days and weeks that followed last year’s election. Our power is visible in protests in the streets, in Congress and at the White House.

There is so much work ahead. These wins will make the Trump/Pence Administration and GOP-led Senate even more desperate to pack the courts with biased, unfair, anti-LGBTQ judges. They have turned their backs on LGBTQ students. They support legalized discrimination in the name of “religious freedom.” They are still trying to ban transgender patriots from military service.

But we will not go back into the closet. We will not disappear. We will protect marriage equality. We will win freedom from workplace discrimination.

And our battle for equality and justice will prevail in the end.