THE BLOG
10/29/2013 08:23 pm ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

2013 Election Season in New York

Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for GLAAD

Whoever came up with the term "off-year elections" clearly wasn't from New York! We've seen a highly publicized and competitive election season, with open seats for municipal positions throughout the state. Perhaps most importantly, we've seen an unprecedented number of viable LGBT candidates this year, including the first-ever qualified transgender candidate for New York City Council, Mel Wymore.

Six New York City Council seats will most likely go to openly LGBT candidates, the most ever in a given term. For the first time, four out the five boroughs will have LGBT representatives, including Corey Johnson and Rosie Mendez in Manhattan, and visibility in the outer boroughs, with Jimmy Van Bramer and Daniel Dromm in Queens, Carlos Menchaca in Brooklyn, and Ritchie Torres in the Bronx.

Kathy Sheehan is on track to become the first female mayor of Albany, breaking through gender barriers that have existed for time immemorial in our state's capital. From Eastern Long Island to Monroe County, we've endorsed candidates who will help push the needle forward on LGBT equality. We're happy to see and support pro-LGBT candidates in all corners of the state.

While some of these candidates didn't win in the primaries, the importance of their campaigns should not be understated. The prospect of the first lesbian mayor of New York City, for instance, set a precedent that paves the way for future candidates. Christine Quinn's campaign sent a message to all young LGBT people that they can set their sights high and potentially hold a leadership position one day without compromising who they are. The campaigns of all pro-LGBT candidates also sent an important message to other elected officials that running for office and being out and proud are not mutually exclusive.

At the Pride Agenda we endorse candidates with strong records of support for LGBT New Yorkers who will help further equality and justice. For more than two decades we've supported candidates who are committed to representing the full diversity of our LGBT community, and we've seen the fruits of our labor. We helped pave the way for officials like Deborah Glick and Tom Duane, the first openly gay state senator, to create a district that has produced powerful leaders like Christine Quinn, and, most recently, a tight race between two well-qualified LGBT candidates for city council.

January 2014 starts a new year and a new horizon, where elected officials throughout the state will be operating in a post-DOMA environment for the first time. The tide is turning for LGBT inclusion. We're getting closer every day to a time when homophobia and exclusion will not be electable platforms and representatives on both sides of the aisle will have to support same-sex marriage and LGBT equality in order to be considered viable candidates.

We can all do our part to participate in the democratic process and make sure that we're represented. Support candidates who stand on the right side of history and will make decisions with LGBT equality in mind. Don't forget to vote in the general elections on Nov. 5 and make your voice heard!

Learn more about the Pride Agenda's pro-LGBT endorsements here, and follow me on Twitter for the latest news @NathanMSchaefer.