Welcome to the latest puzzle in my ongoing series, Eyes Open, inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and other civil rights protests.
A week ago, after days of anxiety-inducing uncertainty, a new president-elect was confirmed, alongside the first female vice president-elect in the nation’s history, a woman of color who will inspire countless people (and has already inspired an entry in this series).
Less than two weeks ago, voters went to the polls — and many others had already mailed in their ballots — and some historic candidates were elected (but not nearly enough). At a time when it feels like the country is on a tipping point in so many ways, to see deserving people put themselves forward and then succeed at taking office is a marvelous experience.
One of those historic candidates appears in today’s puzzle, is pictured below, and is now the highest ranking transgender official in United States history.
Today’s puzzle is meant to celebrate her and other elected officials who represent the LGBTQIA+ community, not only serving as advocates for a constantly embattled and persecuted group of underrepresented individuals, but standing as shining beacons of possibility, visibility, and change. They are trailblazers, people who fought the good fight, came out victorious, and proudly worked even harder to fulfill those duties with honor, integrity, and diligence.
There are five noteworthy names that appear in this puzzle. We hope that in years to come, we can return to this subject and make a much larger grid with many more names to celebrate. For now, this will have to do.
I hope this puzzle serves to both engage you as a solver and encourage you to learn more about these intrepid individuals who are boldly pushing outward the boundaries of representation in this country.
[Click this link to download a PDF of this puzzle.]
If you have suggestions for more topics for me to cover in future puzzles, please let me know. If you’re a person of color and you’d like to share a puzzle of your own, or to collaborate with me on a puzzle, please let me know.
If you’re a member of the LGBTQ community, and you have ideas, please let me know. If you’re a trans person, or a non-binary individual, and you feel underrepresented in puzzles, please let me know.
I would like this to become something bigger, but hopefully, this is at the very least a start.
Thank you for reading. Thank you for standing up, speaking up, and fighting the good fight.
Support LGBTQIA+ people.
Black lives matter.