Throughout her 2016 campaign, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has not been hesitant to point out that she would be the first female presidential candidate, and first female president if elected. Poised to be the Democratic nominee near the very end of the primary season, Clinton has made history. Along the campaign trail, she has largely discussed feminism as the fight for gender equality. But Clinton's victory video takes an intersectional turn, pointing to a more expansive, modern view of what falls under feminism's scope.
Published on YouTube on June 7 as six states voted in the day's all-important Democratic primaries, "History Made" pays homage to prominent women's rights activists throughout U.S. history, featuring clips of their speeches interspersed with quotes from Clinton herself on gender equality. There's a notable shift when we hear a woman speaking to a crowd not about women's rights, but transgender rights: "I've met so many other transgender people. Their voices haven't always been heard. But I've told them, our time is coming. We're going to change the world together."
Toward the end of the video, Clinton strongly proclaims:
Women and men, young and old, Latino and Asian, African American and Caucasian, rich, poor, and middle class, gay and straight, you have stood with me, and I will continue to stand strong with you...
The 2016 presidential election is the first one in which the struggle for LGBT rights has been so visible. Both Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders have been vocal supporters of ending legal discrimination in employment and housing and protecting same-sex marriage and adoption rights. The struggles of LGBT individuals have featured if not prominently, then at least repeatedly, in the candidates' speeches and on their Twitter feeds. Both candidates have a section of their campaign websites dedicated to LGBT rights.
Of course, lip service only goes so far; we need to consider Clinton's record on LGBT issues as well before declaring her the intersectional nominee. Clinton was an opponent of same-sex marriage equality until 2013. On a positive note, Clinton's State Department, during her tenure as secretary of state, made it easier for transgender individuals to change their gender designation on their passports. Aside from that, there isn't much else on the record.
Clinton has not only changed her tune on same-sex marriage, but developed and displayed an understanding for the unique struggles facing different demographics, including gay, lesbian, bi, and transgender individuals. This can give us hope that she may, if president, work to improve LGBT rights. The incorporation of a transgender activist in her victory video suggests that her campaign understands the LGBT community is not to be ignored, and that women aren't the only group still fighting for equality.
Image: Hillary Clinton/YouTube (1)