This Week in Trans News: No, Trans People Didn’t Lose Your Election

Noted centrist election-loser Claire McCaskill blames anemic Democratic performance on “transsexual” rights

Katelyn Burns


(Credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

In what is quickly becoming a quadrennial tradition, pundits, and centrist politicians have hopped on the “blame the tr*nnies” bandwagon to explain why Democrats lost several eminently winnable races this year.

Former Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill blamed this year’s weak Democratic sown ballot election performance on “cultural issues” like abortion, gay rights, and her party’s support for “transsexual” rights in an appearance on MSNBC Wednesday night.

Four years ago, it was the likes of the New York Times’ Frank Bruni, The Washington Post’s Charles Krauthammer, and even Saturday Night Live repeating the refrain.

Despite the commonality of this claim, there again, like four years ago, is simply no evidence to back it up. Trans issues were largely ignored this election cycle, by everyone.

Joe Biden ran as explicitly the most pro-trans presidential candidate in history, and he’s poised to win the White House. Nevada overwhelmingly passed a ballot measure to enshrine the right to marriage equality in the state constitution. The queers are not responsible for your election loss.

So what the hell happened to Democrats?

Despite millions in high-paid election consultants and slickly produced ads, Democrats largely underperformed expectations this cycle.

They obsessively ran on healthcare this cycle, as they did two years. But this time, there wasn’t widely covered attempts by congressional Republicans to repeal the Affordable Care A. There is a Republican-led lawsuit attempting to rule the law unconstitutional currently before the Supreme Court, but it seemingly didn’t break through to voters more worried about the pandemic and resulting economic collapse.



Katelyn Burns

Political journalist. The first openly trans Capitol Hill reporter in US history. Writing about more than just trans issues. Follow her on Twitter @transscribe