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Danica Roem — Photo by Steve Helber / AP
Danica Roem — Photo by Steve Helber / AP

Election night brings high-profile Queer wins
November 7's election night brought several high-profile wins for Queer candidates running for office across the US. The LGBTQ+ Victory Fund lists 148 openly LGBTQ+ candidates who won across the country Tuesday.

Notable among these is Danica Roem, the first Transgender member of the Virginia House of Delegates, who will become the first Transgender member of the Virginia Senate.

Roem's election is part of a Democratic takeover of the Virginia legislature, dashing Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin's hopes for greater control over the state government.

The LGBTQ+ Victory Fund's president and former Houston mayor, Annalise Parker, told AP that Roem "faced an unprecedented deluge of anti-Trans hate on the campaign trail, but she was not fazed nor distracted."

Another high-profile win for a Queer candidate was Fabian Nelson, who was elected the first openly Gay member of the Mississippi state legislature.

Nelson, who is Black, represents the state's 66th Congressional District, which includes parts of the state capital, Jackson. A real estate professional, Nelson has said his priorities will include better funding for education, supporting small businesses, and expanding Medicaid. He plans to be a voice for marginalized people in the deeply conservative state.

Mississippi also elected its first out county supervisor, Democrat Justin Lofton. He won the August primary runoff for the Board of Supervisors in Pike County, and he had no opponent in the general election. His election to the county board is now official.

In addition to these wins, Kentucky Gov. Andy Bashear, a noted ally of the Queer community, won reelection in his state.

Image courtesy of The Trevor Project  

Trevor Project closes its account on social media platform X
The Trevor Project has announced it will no longer be active on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. The organization said it was due to persistent concerns regarding the increase of hate speech and the company's rollback of protective measures for Transgender users.

The decision reflects deep-seated worries about the mental well-being of Queer youth, particularly in light of recent anti-Queer legislation and social media policies.

The context of the Trevor Project's departure from X is marked by earlier criticism from GLAAD back in April, the platform removed specific protections against targeted misgendering and deadnaming of Transgender people from its Hateful Conduct Policy. Despite the elapsed months since that change, concerns about the safety of Queer users on X remain pressing.

Renowned for its suicide prevention efforts within the Queer community, the Trevor Project told The Advocate, "LGBTQ young people — and in particular, trans and nonbinary young people — have been unfairly targeted in recent years, and that can negatively impact their mental health."

"The content we share on social media is intended to uplift and affirm LGBTQ young people, shedding light on stories to deepen the public understanding of their experiences," the Trevor Project said.

It also noted the detrimental impact of hate speech on its efforts: "We've seen anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and commentary on our posts that can negatively impact LGBTQ young people."

The Trevor Project underscored the critical need for social media platforms to have "sufficient moderation capabilities" to ensure the safety of marginalized communities. It cited alarming statistics as a call to action, noting that "41% of LGBTQ young people seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year."

The Trevor Project is guiding young people toward TrevorSpace.org and is active on other social media platforms, like Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, and Facebook, in order to continue its advocacy work in a safer digital environment.

One year after Elon Musk's acquisition of Twitter, many Queer people say the once-hospitable home for community building has turned toxic.

Since Musk took over the platform, Queer people running some of the most-followed X accounts have abandoned it. Elton John, who has over a million followers, announced he was leaving in December, and Ellen DeGeneres, who has 75 million followers, hasn't tweeted since April.

The Trevor Project is not the only Queer nonprofit to leave. The San Francisco LGBT Center, LGBTQ Youth Scotland and the UK-based Mermaids, a Transgender charity, have also left the platform, just to name a few.