What’s being declared a “rainbow wave” has officially hit the 2018 election circuit. This year, a record number of LGBT candidates are running for office — 400 to be exact.

 

A Growing Acceptance of LGBT People

Years ago, coming out as gay before or during a political campaign would end your run almost immediately. But today, times are different. Not only may this not hurt your campaign anymore, it may actually help it. With roughly 70 percent of Americans being in favor of gay marriage, LGBT people are not nearly as marginalized as they once were and finally have a fighting chance in politics.  

Trump Administration Rollbacks

Perhaps an even bigger reason why LGBT candidates came out in record numbers for the 2018 election year is because of the many Trump administration policies that have come out, many of which people believe hurt LGBT people.

In 2017, more than 120 bills that have been described as “anti-LGBT” were introduced among 30 states. Some of the bills restrict gay couples’ ability to adopt and prevent trans people from using bathrooms that align with their gender identity. As of January, 12 of the 120 laws have gone into effect, according to the Human Rights Campaign.

“We had to focus on getting more people elected to decision-making positions because that’s the way that we offset someone who wants to destroy the E.P.A. being appointed to run the E.P.A,” said Sharice Davids, a lesbian and democrat running in a congressional primary election in her home state of Kansas. Her comment was referring to Scott Pruitt, President Trump’s agency administrator (he has since left the position).

  With more than 200 of the 400 candidates running for state offices, it looks like most people are tackling the fight close to home.