The “Rainbow Wave” Everybody Should Be Talking About
COMMENTARY

November 11, 2022by Nick Fulton, Communications Lead, The Global Women's Institute
The “Rainbow Wave” Everybody Should Be Talking About
Parade participants march down Market Street carrying the rainbow flag during the annual Gay Pride parade in San Francisco on June 30, 2013. (Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

In races across the country, LGBTQ candidates broke generational electoral standards this midterm season. From local elections to congressional races, queer candidates outperformed expectations and set a new standard for what elected office can and should look like.

Some of the most notable victories for LGBTQ candidates include:

  • Becca Balint (D) will become the first woman and the first openly gay candidate to represent Vermont in the House. 
  • James Roesener (D) was elected to serve in New Hampshire’s state House, making him the first openly trans man to serve in any state Legislature.
  • Maura Healey (D) won her gubernatorial race in Massachusetts, making her the country’s first lesbian governor.
  • Robert Garcia (D) will join California’s congressional delegation as the first openly LGBTQ immigrant to serve in Congress.

This wave of victories for LGBTQ candidates did not begin and end at the polls. According to the LGBTQ Victory Fund, a record-setting 678 LGBTQ candidates appeared on ballots across the country Tuesday. Hundreds more fell short of a major party nomination but made an impact on their communities throughout their campaigns.

LGBTQ Victory Fund Press Secretary Albert Fujii told USA Today that he is calling this trend of victories a “rainbow wave,” one that has been fueled by the resilience and the tenacity of the queer community. The past few years have been some of the most discriminatory periods in modern American history for queer populations.


From anti-trans legislation to organized violence against queer people, Republican-dominated spaces have allowed for the organized abuse of minorities. Having these new voices in Washington, and across the country, will hopefully not only humanize LGBTQ people but offer a more intimate perspective on legislation as it affects the LGBTQ community.


As we look on to 2024 and beyond, political pundits will be forced to recognize the electoral powerhouse that the LGBTQ community is becoming.

According to research done by the Human Rights Campaign, 11% of the eligible voting population identifies as openly LGBTQ, and by 2040 almost one-fifth of eligible voters will identify as members of this community. This rapidly growing voting bloc is more than enough to sway a progressive vote in most races.

For democracy to be functional and be a true reflection of the American people, representation must be on every ballot, in every election. Political commentators will be quick to now shift the conversation to 2024, but it is important to stay in this moment, to recognize the power of today.

LGBTQ people are occupying spaces they have been excluded from for decades. Queer people are finding success in politics while being open about their sexuality and gender identity. This “rainbow wave” has created the opportunity for young LGBTQ people to see themselves in their government, and to see public service as a field available to them.


Representation is everything, and representation won this election season. 


Nick Fulton is a Washington-based press professional who specializes in political advocacy communications. He currently serves as communications lead at George Washington University’s The Global Women’s Institute. You can find him on Twitter @ficknulton.

A+
a-

In The News

Health

Voting

Opinions

Democracy Checkup: Early Lessons From the 2022 Midterms 

While the final election results are trickling in, there is enough evidence to glean lessons about the health of U.S.... Read More

While the final election results are trickling in, there is enough evidence to glean lessons about the health of U.S. democracy. Most importantly, we can celebrate that extremism was largely rejected in closely contested elections, but we cannot let our guard down. The overarching threat to... Read More

Mandates on Credit Cards Will Allow Big-Box Stores to Cheap Out on Security

It’s rare these days to see a cash-only business in the United States. Why? Because consumers prefer the security of... Read More

It’s rare these days to see a cash-only business in the United States. Why? Because consumers prefer the security of credit cards and enjoy earning rewards, while businesses like faster, safer transactions and higher sales. Accepting cash is also more expensive for retailers. Cash costs on average over... Read More

Stop the Slaughter: We Must Call for Congressional Action to Save America’s Horses

When I was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia I was given just a 5% chance of survival. Revolutionary treatment options... Read More

When I was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia I was given just a 5% chance of survival. Revolutionary treatment options saved me.  Being around horses provided me a sense of safety and serenity. And it helped me find my life’s new purpose: saving the lives of... Read More

With a Recession Looming, Gig Worker Reclassification Would Cause More Harm Than Good

The Department of Labor's proposed rule to remove gig workers' status as independent contractors threatens to cause millions in lost... Read More

The Department of Labor's proposed rule to remove gig workers' status as independent contractors threatens to cause millions in lost income.  Despite the Biden administration's inflation reduction efforts, over half of U.S. adults are now considering a second job to make ends meet. While the Federal... Read More

The Credit Card Industry Is Terrified of Competition 

The credit card industry is terrified of free market competition. So much so that it's trying to conflate it with,... Read More

The credit card industry is terrified of free market competition. So much so that it's trying to conflate it with, of all things, price controls. But it’s nothing more than a desperate, smoke-and-mirrors diversion to ensure that Visa, Mastercard and major banks continue raking in record profits... Read More

The “Rainbow Wave” Everybody Should Be Talking About

In races across the country, LGBTQ candidates broke generational electoral standards this midterm season. From local elections to congressional races,... Read More

In races across the country, LGBTQ candidates broke generational electoral standards this midterm season. From local elections to congressional races, queer candidates outperformed expectations and set a new standard for what elected office can and should look like. Some of the most notable victories for LGBTQ... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top