In this week’s Rainbow Votes 2020 newsletter, it’s finally here! After months of anxiety and heartburn, polls close across the U.S. tonight and results will begin to trickle in. Ahead of the pandemonium, Xtra’s U.S. political correspondent Nico Lang reviews the campaigns and looks forward to the possible LGBTQ2S+ candidates who could wield political power after tonight’s election.
(And remember: The Brief is just your sneak peek into our new U.S. election newsletter. Subscribe now to get the full version, featuring exclusive interviews, analysis and Q&As, ahead of tonight’s election results. And there’s a follow-up newsletter in the week ahead.)
The final countdown
In his opening essay, Lang looks back at the months-long campaign for the presidency that left Americans—and the rest of the world—astonished and exhausted. There are no certain answers until results begin rolling in, but as Lang writes, “No matter the outcome on Election Day, Trump has already lost. LGBTQ2S+ people will keep finding ways to create lives filled with joy and splendour even in the face of his constant attacks on our right to exist.”
Despite the anxiety you might be feeling today, Lang also brings a renewed sense of optimism, profiling three LGBTQ2S+ candidates who have a shot at winning their seats tonight. In South Dakota, Louise Snodgrass could become the country’s first genderqueer state legislator. And in Tennessee, Black gay candidates Brandon Thomas and Torrey Harris could become the state’s first-ever openly LGBTQ2S+ lawmakers.
When Trump wasn’t arguing with Lady Gaga about fracking on Twitter in the last days of the race, his campaign repeatedly stranded supporters in the cold, leading to several hospitalizations. As many have predicted for months, hypothermia wasn’t even the biggest public health danger his rallies posed: A recent study found that they have led to 30,000 cases of COVID-19 and 700 deaths.
I LOVE TEXAS! pic.twitter.com/EP7P3AvE8L
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 1, 2020
Should readers need any indication of the literal danger a second Trump term poses, a recent example is illustrative: On Friday, a legion of the president’s supporters in Texas allegedly swarmed a Biden-Harris bus in their trucks, attempted to run it off the road, and rammed vehicles driven by the Democratic ticket’s supporters. The incident is currently being investigated by the FBI.
Rather than condemning the attack, Trump cheered his supporters on Twitter. “I love Texas!” he wrote.