The Big Progressive Wins on Election Night, Midterms 2018

Democrats were looking forward to a Blue Wave. Progressives were hoping for progressive candidates. Right-of-center? A redder political map.

Well, we can delve into that later on, but here’s what we got for the most part last night.

The Big Progressive Wins

First, a list. Next what we can expect policy-wise from the new Democratic U.S. House of Representatives.

  1. Candidates outside the status quo:
    1. Jared Polis (D-CO) – the country’s first openly gay Governor
    2. Sharice Davids (D-KS) – the country’s first Native American, openly gay Congresswoman
    3. Deb Haaland (D-NM) – the country’s second Native American Congresswoman
    4. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) – the country’s first Somali-American, Muslim Congresswoman, a Somali refugee
    5. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) – the country’s second Muslim Congresswoman
    6. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) – the country’s youngest Congresswoman, at 29 years old
    7. Abby Finkenauer (D-IA) – the country’s second youngest Congresswoman, also 29
    8. Young Kim (R-CA) – the countries first Korean-American Congresswoman
    9. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) – Massachusetts’ first black Congresswoman
    10. Janet Mills (D-ME) – Maine’s first woman Governor
    11. Letitia James (D-NY) – New York’s first black woman Attorney General
  2. Progressive ballot measures that passed*:
    1. San Francisco, CA – raised taxes on big corporations to fund homeless services
    2. Florida – returns voting rights to over a million people that served time for felony charges
    3. Louisiana – requiring felony convictions to have a unanimous jury conviction ruling
    4. Massachusetts – an affirming transgender bathroom anti-discrimination protection
    5. New Hampshire – affirms freedom from governmental intrusion in private or personal information
    6. Missouri – legalizing medical marijuana.
    7. Michigan
      1. confirming automatic & Election Day registration
      2. confirming an independent redistricting commission
      3. And last but pot least — had to. legalizes recreational marijuana. Making Michigan the tenth state to do so. The others? Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Colorado, Maine, Vermont, and Massachusetts.

*Not a complete list


Although there were a lot of wins, there are some big losses to note before we move on. Before we touch on the bad though, let’s do a quick “good wrap.”

Kim Davis (R-KY), lost her election. She was the county clerk who refused to sign marriage licenses for same-sex couples. The Neo-Nazi GOP candidate renounced by his party lost to Illinois Democrats.

This is where the positives end here. In races across the country, Republicans made wins, losses for progressives. Electing racists wasn’t their only win on election night. In Alabama, voters stripped rights from pregnant people. They gave those full legal rights to fertilized eggs, instead. Republicans went so far as electing to Congress Steve King (R-IA), denounced by his party as a Nazi.

Moving forward, nonetheless.


What to Expect from the new Democratic U.S. House of Representatives

Eight (8) years since the last time Democrats controlled the House, there’s a new image for Congress. A woman’s image. Over 100 women**, are new and returning to the House of Representatives. About one quarter (1/4) of the 435 seats. These are the Policy Positions shared by those women listed above, as per Vote Smart:

  1. Healthcare to cover pre-existing conditions and protecting the ACA
  2. Pro-choice rights
  3. To balance the budget, income taxes rising, particularly for the wealthy and top 1%
  4. Campaign finance reform
  5. Increasing federal spending to spur economic growth, not cutting corporate taxes
  6. Ensuring education has proper federal standards
  7. Government funding for renewable energy
  8. The federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions
  9. Gun control legislation
  10. Pushing back against “The Wall.” Protecting immigrants and ensuring asylum and an easier path to citizenship
  11. legalizing recreational marijuana use

**A similar look at the Top Priorities of these women at a later date.

***Rashida Tlaib offered the most to Vote Smart. She made very clear her political stances and postions.

**** Notable mention. Kate Brown (D-OR) – the countries first openly bisexual governor is re-elected in Oregon.

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About Me, #3: Transgender, 4 Pros, Cons

“For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others — and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.” — Matthew 19:12, New International Version

A young girl watches America’s Next Top Model Season Eleven (the one with Isis King no less!) on TV after school. A forlorn expression watches, enviously, bodies on a screen, as hers mimicks them on the runway. Putting one foot directly in front of the other and moving her barely teenage hips, she catches a slight snag, a pinch, and a pain — she adjusts her scrotum.

Growing up trans is the most confusing thing in the world. Don’t argue with me about this, because there’s no way that there could be anything more confusing than feeling like someone else, trying to be a second someone else, and ending up being a completely third someone else, while in the end, not at all being oneself. Just trying to explain this leaves me feeling dizzy.

It’s amazing having grown up and gone through all of that confusion, all of that subsequent anger, and holding so much resentment for so much, for so many people, and for so many years, and then finally, to turn on the TV one day and behold! There’s not only a famous Olympian on television openly transgender, but apparently kids too. Some of these children had the access to speak about how they felt and were supported in beginning their transitions at a young age — how absolutely marvelous!

I’m sure not many people experience having relationships with their family like these lucky kiddos. Personally, there’s a lot of people that I’ve lost contact with immediately following coming out to them as transgender. I often wonder what my life would have been like if my family had asked me about my gender at a young age and helped me in this way. Would I still be a journalist? Would I still have the same interests? Would I still be as strong as I think that I am?

The Elephant asks a lot of questions like this. Are you sure? What if? What if? What if?

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It’s so strange. It’s so shamed. It’s incredibly scary.

Coming out, being authentic and being brave, in this unique way is a winsome, losesome (link has before-after pics!). Here, I would like to get out everything that I can on the topic of being transgender, the good and the bad. Once this introduction series is complete, I want to dive into trans topics and issues, and preferably be done with the intro portion of this blog.

The following section is a pro and con, reversed. It’s based solely on my own experience as a white-passing trans woman. Don’t worry though there’s plenty of outspoken trans and nonbinary people out in the blogosphere, so find them (Laverne Cox is my fave!), and read their stories because their narratives will be much different than mine, believe me.

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Saving the Best for Last: the Cons

  • Pronouns being disrespected.

    • There’s always those a******* that don’t care how pretty you look, or how you prefer to be referred to. You’ll step out of the house, the voice on fleek, and the look right off the runway (heels and all), and they’ll still say: “Sir.” or “He/Him.
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  • Medically transitioning is tricky

    • It’s completely up to each individual what their transition requires, but a lot of places require some sort of medical transition in order to legally transition. So whether you’re going on hormones to make up for what your body needs or you’re doing top or bottom surgery is completely up to you. There’s a lot of information out there, but not a whole lot of help in making sense of it all, nor is there an easy way to know if any of it is right for you, and even then the cost-versus-insurance-coverage-reality isn’t too pretty either.
      wtf
  • Legally transitioning is trickier

    • I guess I can understand why changing one’s birth certificate, social security card, and identifications have to be made ridiculously difficult. I mean, all these shady people stealing money or hiding from debt collectors, and Austin Powers, James Bond, and Archer are running around causing mischief as international spies… Honey, I only want to be called Brienna by the police when they pull me over because they think I don’t have a seatbelt on, and not get a side-eye from the more-than-occasional bartender or librarian.
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  • Dating seems impossible

    • At least dating like any “normal” (aka cisgender) girl seems impossible. Not only does it feel incredibly unsafe to broadcast being trans to strangers (oh hello!) on a dating app, but even coming clean about being trans on the first date or within the first ten messages, doesn’t always bear the most beautiful fruit. I know that I for one am ruling out straight men.
      trans dating

The Best: the Pros

  • Sometimes you’ll feel like a goddess

    • It happened after I had read Leslie Feinberg’s  work, diving into third genders in other cultures. In the past trans women have been the guardians of culture, of gods, of kings, and of secrets and teachings. That history in addition to my own and the knowledge of all that I’ve overcome makes for a lot to be proud of. Sometimes, just knowing that you’re strong enough to carry on against all odds, makes you feel superhumanly powerful.
      runway
  • It’s a huge weight off of your shoulders

    • What was once an insuperable secret is now your personal achievement. You once gasped and groaned at the thought of telling anyone at all. Now, you might be a little proud, or at least, accustomed to coming out now, so it’s no biggie!
      relief.gif
  • All the a******* make themselves known

    • They’ll be easier to avoid! Even before you’re out of the closet young trans-awan, you’ve surely come across these bigots. They don’t even need to open their mouths sometimes! Sometimes their face says it all.
      she-came-that-way
  • Nothing feels better than the truth

    • Unless you’re on the receiving end of some bad news truth, the truth is always good. Hearing it and sharing it feels amazing! Being authentic, being true to yourself, living and standing in your truth, feels amazing, and you have to remember that in the end; that’s all that matters. You were honest. They were jerks. You were real. All those friends that stopped talking to you were fake.
      bailey-jay

As of this moment, no one has stopped and harassed me in a bathroom or locker room yet. However, once that happens, because I feel, statistically speaking, it will, I will post that into the “Cons” section in a follow-up piece. Until then:

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There may be more to this in the future as topics arise and memories are spurred to the forefront of my mind. For the time being though, this is it. So thanks for reading; comments are off, message me!

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