12 LGBTQ Women Who’ve Made History at the Polls

From Tammy Baldwin to Danica Roem, these elected officials have made major strides for queer women in American politics.

Above: Out Kansas Rep. Sharice Davids.

With Women’s History Month here—and the 2020 presidential election on the horizon—NewNowNext has compiled a list of 12 LGBTQ women who’ve made history at the polls. From Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin to Virginia state legislator Danica Roem, these trailblazing elected officials are reminding us once and for all that females are strong as hell.

  1. Christine Quinn

    Cindy Ord/Getty Images for National Institute for Reproductive Health

    The New York City politician became America’s first openly gay city council speaker all the way back in 2006, when she was elected into office in the Big Apple. Quinn left her post on the NYC Council in 2013 and ran unsuccessfully for mayor; now, she is the president and CEO of the NYC nonprofit WIN, which provides shelter and supportive housing to New Yorkers in need.

  2. Tammy Baldwin

    Michael Brochstein / Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

    The Wisconsin senator first shattered glass ceilings in 1998, when she became the first openly LGBTQ person (and out lesbian) elected to Congress, and again in 2012, when she became America’s first openly gay senator. Since then, she’s gone on to win her bid for re-election in the November 2018 midterm elections, with endorsements from groups like HRC and the LGBTQ Victory Fund.

  3. Maura Healey

    John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

    In 2014, Healey broke ground for state attorney generals, becoming the nation’s first openly LGBTQ person elected to an attorney general role in her home state of Massachusetts. She continued her roll in 2018, winning her bid for re-election.

  4. Kate Brown

    Shannon Finney/Getty Images

    The Oregon governor became the America’s first openly bisexual governor in 2015, when she ascended into the role. She won an election for the spot in her own right in 2016, and emerged victorious in her bid for re-election in 2018, too. (Gov. Jared Polis of Colorado, who is also openly LGBTQ, joined Brown as the nation’s second out governor in that same election cycle.)

  5. Andrea Jenkins

    Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for New York Magazine

    Jenkins, a Minneapolis city council member, became the country’s first Black transgender elected official when she won her historic race in 2017. Prior to that, the activist and writer spent more than a decade working as the curator at the University of Minnesota’s Transgender Oral History Project.

  6. Danica Roem

    Julia Rendleman for The Washington Post via Getty Images

    Transgender Americans nationwide rejoiced when Roem scored a seat on Virginia’s state legislature, making her the first trans person to serve as a state legislator in U.S. history. The former journalist and Virginia native received endorsements from HRC and former Vice President (/current Democratic White House hopeful) Joe Biden.

  7. Kyrsten Sinema

    Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

    The veteran Arizona politician and Democratic senator made major strides for bisexual Americans in 2018, when she became the first openly LGBTQ senator from her state, and the first out bisexual elected to the U.S. Senate. (She’s also served us many show-stopping lewks, including the ’fit she sported for her swearing-in ceremony, for which we are also grateful.)

  8. Angie Craig

    Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images

    The Minnesota Democrat and out lesbian won her bid for a seat in the House of Representatives in 2018. The former journalist also unseated a Republican incumbent in the process.

  9. Sharice Davids

    Whitney Curtis/Getty Images

    Davids, a proud lesbian and Native American woman, broke ground for the LGBTQ and Native American communities when she was elected to represent Kansas’ 3rd congressional district in the House of Representatives in 2018. The attorney, former White House fellow under President Obama, and ex-MMA fighter beat out an incumbent conservative candidate, too.

  10. Katie Hill

    Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call

    In 2018, Hill made history when she became the first queer women elected to Congress out of California, also beating out a Republican incumbent for the spot. (Last October, Hill resigned from her post amid an ethics scandal and a “revenge porn” incident involving her estranged ex-husband.)

  11. Lori Lightfoot

    Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

    The out politician and former federal prosecutor broke ground for queer women and Black women when she became the first Black lesbian to serve as the mayor of Chicago in April 2019. Lightfoot was sworn in later that spring, and she proudly kissed her wife, Amy Eshleman, on the podium after assuming her new post.

  12. Satya Rhodes-Conway

    Courtesy of Satya Rhodes-Conway

    The out mayor of Madison, Wisconsin, looked to Baldwin for campaign advice before winning her groundbreaking race (and unseating a Republican incumbent) last April. Prior to her win, she’d served as a member of the Madison City Council for six years.

Brooklyn-based writer and editor. Probably drinking iced coffee or getting tattooed.
@_sammanzella