LGBTQ equality won big in the 2020 general election.
In addition to the 160-plus openly LGBTQ candidates elected to public office across the country, the race for the presidency saw Joe Biden, a pro-equality Democrat, defeat President Donald Trump, the Republican incumbent.
The race was called this past Saturday, November 7, after vote counts were finalized in the key battleground state of Pennsylvania. Naturally, queer activists, celebrities, and ordinary Americans alike took the streets to celebrate the beginning of the end of Trump’s anti-LGBTQ administration. New York City-based organizers Jason Rosenberg and Adam Eli shared photos and videos of revelers rejoicing outdoors:
— Adam Eli (@aewerner) November 7, 2020
NYC streets are flooded pic.twitter.com/hMBgkOCsVh
— Jason Rosenberg (@mynameisjro) November 7, 2020
“Boy, bye,” wrote trans writer-activist Raquel Willis on Instagram. Queer organizer Qween Jean also had a clear message for Trump:
Biden ran with California Sen. Kamala Harris, a Black woman, as his VP. Harris is now the first Black woman vice president-elect in U.S. history, and Trump the first one-term president in nearly 30 years.
In a statement, Imani Rupert-Gordon, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), said the history-making Biden-Harris campaign—and the President-Elect’s promise to appoint the most diverse, LGBTQ-inclusive White House staff in history—”gives us hope.”
But the work to ensure equality and safety for all LGBTQ Americans doesn’t end here. In fact, it is just beginning, and as many queer activists have pointed out, the Biden-Harris administration also has to be held to task.
“President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris have promised to fight for America as a place where we all can belong and succeed, where truth and kindness matter,” GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis tweeted Saturday. “In the early days of their administration, they must prioritize protecting LGBTQ people equally under the law in a country where we can live without fear.”
Rupert-Gordon also identified some key next steps:
From reversing Trump’s baseless and immoral transgender military ban and restoring protections for LGBTQ students, to protecting LGBTQ families and asylum seekers and providing relief to the millions of people who are struggling to pay rent, buy food, and keep their families afloat—our communities have a number of priorities we are excited to immediately begin working on with this administration.
President-Elect Biden has committed to passing the Equality Act, and we look forward to working closely with him to make that a reality. But today we are celebrating. Celebrating that an administration that made a commitment to honor our community will have the opportunity to do so.