Stephanie Byers became the first out transgender person ever elected to the Kansas state House and the first out trans person of color ever elected to a state legislature in the U.S. She will also become just the third openly LGBTQ person ever elected to the Kansas state legislature – with state Reps. Susan Ruiz and Brandon Woodard being the first in 2018. Byers is one of five non-incumbent openly trans state legislative candidates on the ballot tonight. Currently there are just four out trans state legislators in the entire country.
Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund, released the following statement about Byers’ victory:
“Stephanie shattered a lavender ceiling in Kansas and its impact will reverberate well beyond the borders of the state. Her victory will inspire more trans people to run for office because they see it is possible and understand these candidates are transforming how America perceives them. While cynical politicians attempted to weaponize trans issues for political gain this cycle, Stephanie’s victory is a powerful reminder that most voters reject the politics of bigotry and will elect trans people who have a positive vision for their communities.”
In addition to Byers, there are four other non-incumbent trans state legislative candidates endorsed by Victory Fund who are on the ballot tonight: Madeline Eden of Texas, Jessica Katzenmeyer of Wisconsin, Sarah McBride of Delaware and Taylor Small of Vermont. McBride and Small have won their races and the Eden and Katzenmeyer’s races are undecided. Three of the four out trans state legislators are also up for reelection tonight: Lisa Bunker and Gerri Cannon in New Hampshire and Brianna Titone in Colorado. If all the incumbents and non-incumbents win tonight, the number of out trans state legislators could more than double, from four to nine.