From the Virginia House of Delegates to the Minneapolis City Council, transgender Americans scored historic victories across the U.S. this year. With the election of at least nine openly transgender people in 2017, the number of trans elected officials will more than double once they all officially take office.
"We saw a significant increase this year in transgender people both running for office and winning their elections," Logan S. Casey, a Harvard researcher who has been tracking transgender candidates across the U.S., told NBC News. "Many people across the country were motivated by the political climate itself to become more politically involved, and this includes transgender people."
Sarah McBride, national press secretary for LGBTQ advocacy group Human Right Campaign, stressed the importance of this increased representation, saying, "Change only happens when we have a seat at the table, and we hope these newly elected officials will advocate for justice and fairness and continue to usher in a new wave of leaders fighting for equality."
Here is a list of the nine openly transgender people who were elected to office this year. According to Casey's research, they will join seven other transgender officials, who were elected prior to 2017.
Middleton is the first transgender person elected to a non-judicial office in California, according to Equality California. With the election of Middleton and openly bisexual council member Christy Holstege, who both took office earlier this month, the Palm Springs City Council is now 100 percent LGBTQ.