As I was struggling to stay awake early Wednesday morning, I was moved by the euphoric crowd of supporters on the blue-hued stage in Chicago and the eloquent and masterfully punctuated speech of the newly re-elected POTUS:
“…It dosen’t matter who you are, or where you come from, or what you look like, or where you live. It dosen’t matter whether you’re Black or White, or Hispanic or Asian or Native American, or young or old, or rich or poor, abled, disabled, gay or straight. You can make it here in America, if you’re willing to try… I believe we can seize this future together.” – U.S. President Barack Obama, in his victory speech on the early morning of November 7th, 2012.
The president’s re-election wasn’t by any means the only highlight of the night! We learned Big Bird was now safe. Nate Silver was proven to actually not be crazy. Twitter was afire with rumours of Diane Sawyer’s on-air drunkenness. Donald Trump had yet another twisted rant. And, of course, the rest of the world sighed a collective sigh of relief as Mitten’s binders could begin to collect dust. There was also some gay stuff. Actually a whole lot of gay stuff. Let us tell you about some of it.
It wasn’t the POTUS, but rather Tammy Baldwin that stole the show in nearly every Facebook meme from gay media the next day. The media has been raving over the win of Wisconsin senator-elect Baldwin who is the first openly gay person elected to the U.S. Senate.
But actually, Tammy Baldwin wasn’t the the only one! It get’s gayer!
But there’s more! GLAAD says there were actually 24 LGBT politicans who ran in this election, from the Senate to the House of Representatives. Here’s how they faired:
+ Mark Takano of Riverside, California became the first gay Asian-American Congressman to be elected. Groundbreaking? I believe so.
+ In Arizona, Kyrsten Sinema, a bisexual and an atheist, won a congressional seat in their home state after a very close battle against Republican Vernon Parker.
Shockingly, not ALL LGBT Replublican candidates lost their races.
+ Richard Tisei ran for congress in a Massachusetts congressional district. GLAAD describes Tisei as “a self-described ‘live and let live Republican,’ who would have been the first out, Republican gay member of the House had he won.” Unfortunately, he lost to incumbent John Tierney, A Democrat.
+ However Tim Brown, a Gay Republican, won a seat in the House of Representatives. He represents Wood county in the Swing State of Ohio.
Move over President Obama, this was a huge victory for marriage equality!
The bigger story here is of course same-sex marriage. Maine, Maryland and Washington have been given the green light. Unfortunately, it isn’t the case for Minnesota, although there was still a small victory there too.
What is going on?
CBC radio talk show host Jian Ghomeshi said yesterday that the prevailing political winds are shifting. He interviewed music critic Alan Ross of the New Yorker about the historic push for Gay Rights in America on the CBC Radio show, Q. (Starts from 15:30 to 24:00). Ross says, “It is the best and worst time to be gay in America, there are rural towns where opposition to gay rights is explicit. It wasn’t talked about in the 50s based on religion…today, there are so many resources to cope with this prejudice”.
So, times are changing, and we’ve come a long way. No one could have imagined that the United States would have its first African-American president four years ago, and now he is re-elected.
How about an LGBT president this generation?
I can’t wait to stay up again to watch that victory speech on the big screen. That would be beyond fab.
PS. You should probably also know that this huge thing happened too: more women were elected to senate than ever before in US history!