Two Transgender Politicians, Both Named Misty, Win In Historic Primary
As we close out the most emotionally draining LGBT Pride month in decades, a beacon of good news has emerged, bringing hope to a community hit hard by the tragedy in Orlando. On Tuesday, polls closed across the country for statewide elections that few people remembered to vote for—and that we, to be honest, had to Google before kind of figuring out the answer.
But there was still some big news to come out of this low-key election: for the first time in American history, two openly transgender women won spots on the ballot to be members of Congress for their respective states. Oh, and they’re both named Misty.
Deep in the heart of Mormonism, the state of Utah helped send Democratic hopeful Misty K. Snow to the general election in November, to fight for a seat in Congress against Tea Party darling Sen. Mike Lee. It’s not enough to say that Snow won, though. She absolute pummeled her closest opponent by almost 20 percent, which is wild considering she has no background in politics at all—Snow is a 30-year-old grocery store clerk in Salt Lake City. Now she’s well on her way to bagging up the election in November and heading to Washington, D.C.
A state away in Colorado, when the haze of legal marijuana cleared and the votes were tallied, Democratic candidate Misty Plowright was declared the undisputed winner ,with more than 13,000 votes to her competitors 9,600. Like Snow, Plowright didn’t come from a political background—she’s an Army veteran who now works in IT. “I’m not a professional politician,” Plowright admitted to the Denver Post. “I know what it’s like to struggle, and I know what it’s like to actually work. That just doesn’t exist in most of our elected representatives.”
As the two Mistys move into the general election, they’re not going to win without a fight. Both districts they’re fighting for are heavily conservative, which doesn’t exactly pair well with LGBT rights. Still, the important part of their campaigns has already happened: exposure. By showing other transgender people that they can advance through the United States government and win nominations, they’re inspiring an entirely new generation of transgender politicians—a fact not lost on Snow. As she told the Seattle Tribune: “A lot of people have told me whether I win or lose, I’m already making a difference just by running,”
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Images via Slate. Main image by Kathryn Chadason.