On Tuesday, Gen Z turned up in record numbers and voted for the change they want to see in the world. Voters even elected the first Gen Z member of Congress — Maxwell Frost in Florida. And while it may be days/weeks/months before we know the full impact of yesterday’s election, we want to celebrate some notable wins.

Massachusetts voters elected Maura Healey, the country’s first openly lesbian governor. In Vermont, Becca Balint became the first out lesbian and the first woman from the state elected to Congress. For the first time, LGBTQ+ candidates were on the ballot in every state — a record 1,065 of them, according to the HRC. 

We know this election cycle has been draining, and when your rights are under attack, it may not always feel like it’s getting better. But we can assure you that it is. We see it happening EVERY SINGLE DAY — through the young LGBTQ+ people who are fighting to make a difference in their communities. 

People like Olivia Julianna, the 19-year-old “loud and proud queer Latina” who raised more than $2 million for pro-choice initiatives. Or Zander Moricz, the Florida teen who was told not to use the word gay in his graduation speech, so he used his “curly hair” as a metaphor, went viral and was praised by openly gay Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg. Or any one of the inspiring young LGBTQ+ voices we featured in our #ElectionSzn campaign. 

(above) from the It Gets Better Project’s 2022 #ElectionSzn campaign.

A record number of students in Florida and Texas staged school walkouts in support of their LGBTQ+ classmates. More than 100 pieces of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation were defeated with support from the Equality Federation. These are incredible accomplishments that mark the resiliency, tenacity, and value of the LGBTQ+ community. It is difficult to comprehend the fact that when the It Gets Better Project was founded in 2010, marriage equality didn’t exist and transgender people weren’t allowed to openly serve in the military.

“It gets better” is about the moments, big and small, that help define a journey — it comes in many forms: when you find that friend who sees you for who you really are; when a parent or mentor uses your preferred pronouns; or when you realize that you are never alone. It’s your first Pride, your first crush, your first lots of things. It’s learning to love yourself exactly as you are and finding a community (online or IRL) that loves and supports you.

So let’s celebrate our wins and applaud Gen Z for making their voices heard. To the LGBTQ+ youth reading this, we support you and we are here for you. Together, we can keep making it better. 

Your friends at the It Gets Better Project