More than a year later, Turner – an oddball, a black Muslim, wearing a headscarf and identified as non-binary – won a seat Tuesday in the Oklahoma state legislature ‚became First openly non-binary state legislator in the country.
Turner’s decisive victory on Tuesday night comes as no surprise in the solid blue 88th State Housing, covering a diverse, burgeoning part of Oklahoma City. But on a historic night first set by LGBTQ candidates across the country, the victory is arguably outstanding in terms of the number of hurdles it broke ̵1; and where it all happened.
Besides being the highest-ranking non-binary official in the country, Turner will also be the first practice Muslim to be elected to the Oklahoma state legislature, which in 2019 blocked an imam from proceeding. Daily prayer session in the room.
“This campaign, the movement that we build is really based on visibility,” Turner said in an interview with The Washington Post. “Legislature is not always friendly or welcoming for many people, and this is about creating spaces – not scrambling for a seat at a table, but creating a new table. completely.”
Imse told The Post in an interview: “Having our first non-binary state legislator is a huge win for the community, but it’s so special that it’s happening in Oklahoma, in all states. “Having any LGBTQ people elected there is really interesting.”
While the Victory Fund does not follow the religion of LGBTQ candidates, Imse said it’s also possible that Turner was the first LGBTQ Muslim elected to the state legislature in the country.
Two lesbian women hold state senators in Oklahoma, one of whom is a minority leader in the lower house, according to the group. One state representative identified as pansexual and Two Spirit, a label used by many LGBTQ Native Americans.
Turner’s foundation, which focuses on issues such as criminal justice restructuring, expanding Medicaid and increasing the state’s minimum wage, is driven by listening to their community, but informed by Their own struggle to make salaries, they say.
While growing up in Ardmore, Okla., Near the Texas border, Turner’s single mother worked three jobs to make ends meet, they said. In college, Turner reconnected with their father, who had been incarcerated for most of their childhood, an experience that led them on the path to working on criminal justice advocacy with Operation Justice. Intelligence of the American Civil Liberties Union.
In an effort to change policies across the state, Turner recognized the need for more representation of disadvantaged groups in the state. After unsuccessful attempts to persuade other Oklahoma activists to run for election, they took the shirt themselves – even when, as Turner said, “being a career politician is not the bag of money. I”.
“I decided that I would listen to my community and listen to the advice I give to everyone else about why it is important to see myself in our representatives,” Turner said. . “There are some things that white men, whites would never be able to understand or really support in a way that a weird, sexually diverse person who had to worry about money Where does their next salary come from. “
Turner caused dissatisfaction in the June primary vote with about 51% of the vote against State Rep. Jason Dunnington (D), who has represented the left-wing region since 2014. In the summer They received high endorsements from Sen Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Senator Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.).
In the months since launching his campaign, Turner said they have received messages of support from people outside Oklahoma – and even outside the country – who are Muslim, non-binary or black skin. Earlier this week, they went to an easy victory over Kelly Barlean, a retired Republican attorney, who accounted for more than 70% of the total vote.
Turner emphasized that they hoped to serve the community that created their victory.
“For those who don’t live in the county, the hope is that when they look at races like mine, they get what they need,” they said, “if they feel empowered to live a little more freely. If that is hope, if it is a reminder to breathe. “