After besting Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle in Tuesday’s runoff election, Lori Lightfoot became both the first Black woman and openly gay person to lead the Windy City. The victory represented a major milestone for the mainstream LGBTQ+ community, but a contingent of young Black queer and trans activists are concerned about the direction she will steer Chicago.
“I do think representation is important, but at the same time identity doesn’t say anything about your politics or values,” says Janaé Bonsu, national co-director of Black youth activist organization BYP 100. “There are plenty of Black folks who are conservative and actively contribute to the oppression of other Black folks in different ways. I caution folks to really give pause to what representation and identity meant in this election and look beyond the fact that there will be a Black woman on the fifth floor of City Hall.”