Andrea Jenkins made history Tuesday night as the first openly transgender black woman elected to public office in the United States. Jenkins was elected to the Minneapolis City Council, becoming one of several openly transgender candidates to win a race on election night.
In Virginia, Republican Del. Robert G. Marshall, arguably the state's most socially conservative lawmaker, was ousted from office by Danica Roem, a Democrat who will be one of the first openly transgender people seated in a state legislature. (Althea Garrison was elected to the Massachusetts state legislature in 1992.)
And incoming school board member Tyler Titus became the first transgender candidate to win an elected position in Pennsylvania.
For some, Roem's victory in Virginia is particularly sweet because she trounced a lawmaker who describes himself as the “chief homophobe” and introduced a controversial bill that critics said restricted bathroom use for transgender people.
But many in the gay community — and certainly those who have been involved in activism for decades — know that winning battles does not equal winning the war.
His opponents say Trump has embraced the role of Chief Culture Warrior. And the resistance to the Resistance, particularly when it comes to LGBT rights, was also visible on Election Day.
After Roem's win, Andrew Walker, director of policy studies for the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, the Southern Baptist Convention's public policy arm, tweeted about the election's possible impact on Christian families.
Earlier Tuesday, even though Trump himself said that same-sex marriage is a “settled” issue, Franklin Graham, son of the late evangelist Billy Graham, called Christians to vote for candidates who do not support marriage between gay Americans.
The two leaders are not outliers among white evangelicals, still one of the most influential demographic groups in the GOP.
According to Lifeway Research, which focuses on Christian culture, more than half of people with evangelical beliefs, 54 percent, say it’s wrong to identify with a different gender than the gender with which you were born. And most evangelicals, 61 percent, say using surgery or hormones to change birth gender is morally wrong.
However, the poll features agree/disagree questions, which tend to overstate the level of agreement, so it is possible that the survey might overestimate the percentage of Americans who think transgender identification and gender-altering surgery are morally wrong.
But only 35 percent of white evangelical Protestants support same-sex marriage, according to the Pew Research Center.
So far, there is no consensus on whether society has been too accepting of transgender people or not accepting enough, according to Pew. Nearly 4 in 10 Americans say society has not gone far enough in accepting transgender people, but nearly 1 in 3 say society has gone too far.
And less than a third say society has been about right.
Despite the victories of transgender candidates on Tuesday, the verdict is still out on how Americans will embrace the new lawmakers and policies that they support. When it comes to the next chapter in LGBT politics, eyes are on 2018.