America has elected its first ever non-binary politician to a role in Oklahoma’s House of Representatives. Mauree Turner, who is also queer and Muslim, will now represent the state’s 88th district, as the first ever elected non-binary official in US government history.
Turner, who uses ‘they’ pronouns, said: ‘It’s a feeling that I can’t really put into words, and when I think about it I get real choked up. But I’m really thankful for it.’
The 27 year-old Democrat politician, who is also the first Muslim to be elected in Oklahoma, said they were concerned about putting their name on the ballot – but added that they were thrilled when voters got behind their message.
Turner told 4029tv: ‘A lot of people don’t know how much you risk putting your name on the ballot if you’re not a white, cis-het, man. And it was a lot of work to get here, and I had to put faith in my community to catch me when I jumped, and they did.’
‘It means a lot and to be able to put faces to those things. It’s really a humbling experience because I remember looking for someone who looked like me when it came to leadership.’
Turner’s campaign was backed by US Representative Ihlan Omar, one of the first two Muslim women to be elected to the US Congress, and a rising star in the Democrat party.
One of Turner’s key policies is restoring voting rights to people in jail or prison, with Oklahoma currently refusing anyone who is behind bars the chance to vote.
She won on the same night New York City voters elected the US House of Representatives first black, gay Congressmen. Ritchie Torres, 32, will represent the city’s 15th Congressional District, which includes part of the Bronx.
And Mondaire Jones, 33, won New York’s 17th Congressional District, which covers Westchester and Rockland County.
Meanwhile, Delaware Democrat Sarah McBride also made history after becoming the first transgender senator.
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