It’s a happy day for the transgendered community. Chelsea Manning has filed the paperwork to run for the US Senate on the Democratic platform in Maryland. No matter how you feel about her controversial 2013 federal conviction for giving classified information to Wikileaks, having a transgendered woman run for a seat on the US Senate is a HUGE step forward for the LGBT community.
Ever since retired congressman Barney Frank publicly announced he was gay in 1987, out members of the LGBT community have continued to be elected for both the Senate and the House of Representatives. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) has served in both. The days of outing and hiding in the shadows to work in politics are long over, and the rainbow wave continues to grow. With the election of Danica Roem to the Virginia state legislature this past November (in a landslide victory over afar-right incumbent), it is evident that the T in LGBT are ready to step up as well. With their basic rights to use a public restroom threatened in many parts of the country, and Trump’s attempted military transgender ban, it is only natural for the transgender community to offer their voice, and service, to the future of our country.
While Chelsea Manning is a controversial choice because of her criminal history and gender identity, her sentence was commuted by President Barack Obama in early 2017, and she meets the requirements laid out in the United States Constitution for a seat on the US senate. The current two term incumbent Ben Cardin (D-MD) is currently favored for re-election, but this could change the entire race in a big way. Manning’s notoriety and gender identity could bring both big monied donors, and small out-of-state supporters who feel it is time for the transgendered voice to be heard on the federal level. If we can elect Donald Trump president, and a former Real Worlder (Sean Duffy R-WI) to the US House of Representatives, we can elect Chelsea Manning to the United States Senate. Her courage to attempt the run and want to serve our country is admirable.