As I sit here, being extraordinarily disappointed in some of the Democrats’ electoral losses, I feel the need to look for the silver lining.
After spending the evening at the New York Democratic Election Night Party and it was room full of political signs and rainbow flags – it is New York of course, the home of the Stonewall Uprising, but I digress. In New York, voters said “YES” to equality in many ways. One of our biggest allies in the Senate, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was elected for the first time (having been appointed originally to fill Senator Clinton’s seat a few years ago). Gillibrand has done more for the repeal of DADT in the Senate than arguably anyone else.
And Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo stood about 10 feet in front of me tonight and gave a rousing speech. Among his top priorities is delivering marriage equality to New York.
And perhaps the story of the night for LGBT people, the Victory Fund, has helped to deliver (as of 1:00 am on Tuesday night) 93 wins. 93 openly LGBT people will be holding local and national elected positions. Among those endorsed winners by The Victory Fund are Jim Gray, the first openly gay mayor of a major city in Kentucky, Gray will be leading the way in Lexington, KY., also Marcus Brandon who will be holding a Representative seat in North Carolina, Brandon, an openly gay African American will fill a void left by retiring State Senator and openly-lesbian Julia Boseman.
Back in the Summer, I was invited to an event at a house in lower Manhattan to help raise some visibility for the openly-gay Mayor of
Providence, RI, David Cicciline. The following day, David would be announcing his intention to run for Congress. Tonight, David became the 4th openly-gay US Congressman.
We may have suffered some losses tonight, but we need to be proud of the work we have done in electing our allies and so many openly-LGBT candidates. I hope we can take a moment and realize just how important it is that people are having real conversations about who we are. People are looking past their preconceived notions and voting for LGBT people because they are the best people for the job. Tonight, with loads of help from the brilliant Victory Fund, we made great strides, and we will continue to so long as we talk about equality.
Please enjoy some more photos from tonight’s NY Democratic Party Election Night from EqualityPhotography.com.