As the midterms approach, the one thing becoming increasingly clear is the importance of the LGBTQ voter. We rejoiced over the progress made in the Obama years and watched in horror as Trump, with the anti-LGBTQ industry whispering in his ear like that Lord of the Rings character Wormtongue, proceeded to take away from us as much as he could. Now certain groups are hoping that we took mental notes about Trump's behavior and are motivated to wreak a rainbow tsunami at the ballot box which will help take control away from him, his anti-LGBTQ unofficial cabinet, and the GOP in general.
According to NBC News, our vote could count tremendously in key areas:
LGBTQ people make up an estimated 4.5 percent of the adult population in the U.S., according to Gallup, and lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals comprise approximately 5 percent of voters across the country. While LGBTQ voters are a relatively small portion of the electorate, a number of political experts and advocates say these approximately 10 million eligible voters could prove critical in several close races.
The LGBTQ vote could be particularly important in states with close races that have sizable LGBTQ populations, according to Patrick Egan, a political science professor at New York University.
He cited Florida, which has an estimated 700,000 LGBTQ people, as an example. The state’s races for senate and governor are close, and the Republican and Democratic candidates have “dramatically different positions.”
. . . Egan also mentioned Vermont, where Democrat Christine Hallquist could become the country’s first transgender governor. LGBTQ people comprise an estimated 5.3 percent of the state’s adult population. “That’s a place where we expect not just turnout, but also campaign volunteering and donations, to potentially be quite important,” Egan said of Vermont.
And the Democratic National Committee has not only noticed, but encouraged this:
Democrats have invested millions of dollars in state parties across the country in order to elect Democrats up and down the ballot, including a record number of LGBTQ candidates, according to a Democratic National Committee official who spoke to NBC News on background.
These LGBTQ candidates, according to the official, include Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Gov. Kate Brown of Oregon, Rep. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, Rep. Jared Polis of Colorado, Christine Hallquist of Vermont and Josh Boschee of North Dakota. The DNC has also put out an LGBTQ Voting Rights Toolkit, which offers specific advice for LGBTQ voters — especially transgender individuals — who may encounter trouble at the polls because of voter identification laws.
The article in general underscores the fact that the progress made in the Obama years could have possibly created an LGBTQ constituency vote with potency for future elections. The key is unification. Unfortunately, some of us do tend to bend over backwards in order to demonstrate how we are supposedly not "one-issue" voters, when such a notion is absolutely self-defeating. Particularly when that "one issue" encompasses marriage, adoption rights, protection from discrimination, family rights, military rights, etc. etc.
That "one issue" is the survival of the LGBTQ community in general. Seems to be that would be a perfect time for us to vote selfishly and pragmatically. It will either be the GOP or the Democrats who have control. Our best bet is to vote for those who we can work. And for God's sake, do not sit this out. That behavior amongst some folks is how we got into the mess we are in now.