Over the past few decades, LGBTQ people made great leaps in political representation, but much of that progress inched forward at the local or state level. Nationally, there have been only three openly LGBTQ senators, two of whom are now serving, and 21 LGBTQ representatives, including eight currently in the House.
A new face in California politics, Maebe A. Girl, wants to add to the number, but also push its boundaries, by becoming the first trans person and the first drag queen to serve in Congress. Girl already made headlines as a trailblazer earlier this year when she became the first drag queen elected to local government, winning a seat on the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council, where she created a committee to focus on LGBTQ rights.
Girl, a Democrat, decided to run for California’s 28th Congressional District because she was frustrated with the limited scope of her position. The neighborhood council doesn’t have true legislative power, but acts as more of a sounding board for neighborhood concerns to the L.A. City Council.
“It’s essential that we get more queer representation in public office, especially at the national level,” she said. “We need more everyday people in Congress—its overwhelmingly older, white, wealthy men, and that’s just not representative of America, or my district.”
But it’s not going to be easy. The incumbent in the 28th district is Democratic U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, a well-known critic of the Trump administration who has represented part of the Los Angeles area since 2001, and won in 2018 with over 75% of the vote. Plus, Girl is not the only challenger—four other candidates have signed up, including one other Democrat, an independent and two Republicans. California holds open primaries, where the top two contenders, regardless of party, will appear on the November 2020 general election ballot.