This Thursday, an unprecedented number of queer women will be sworn into the 116th Congress, joining a historic number of women of color, making this class of Congress the most diverse in herstory.
Angie Craig ran for the US House seat in Minnesota, unseating historically anti-LGBTQ+ Rep. Jason Lewis and becoming the first openly gay mother to serve on Congress. Sharice Davids of Kansas, a former MMA fighter, became the first openly LGBTQ+ Native American woman elected to congress, and the first openly queer member of Congress from Kansas. 31-year-old Katie Hill, who identifies as bisexual, also unseated an anti-LGBTQ+ candidate (Republican Steve Knight) to represent California in Congress’ new class. Elsewhere in the government, Democrat Kyrsten Sinema will be sworn in as Arizona’s first female and openly bisexual senator.
Besides the huge strides for queer representation, the 116th Congress is the most racially diverse in history with Rashida Tlaib (Michigan) and Ilhan Omar (Minnesota) becoming the first Muslim-American women elected. Omar, who came to the US as a refugee in the mid-90s, also has the distinction of being the first Somali-American member elected to Congress. Democrats Veronica Escobar and Sylvia Garcia will join as Texas’ first Latinx congresswomen while Ayanna Pressley is Massachusetts’ first Black female representative and Jahana Hayes, of Connecticut, is the state’s first Black congresswoman.
And joining this exciting supergroup of women politicians is Drag Race enthusiast Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who is also the youngest women ever to be elected to Congress at 29. The future is female, queer, and stans Valentina.