Brianna Wu congress

Trans Game Developer Brianna Wu Is Running for Congress

Brianna Wu, a transgender game developer who was a major target of the Gamergate hate group, is now running for Congress.

On January 20th, Wu officially announced her campaign for the Massachusetts House of Representatives, District 8. She’s running on the Democratic Party ticket.

Who is Brianna Wu?

Brianna Wu is an outspoken trans feminist and the developer of a video game called Revolution 60. She often speaks about identity issues in geek media, particularly the gaming community.

A few years ago, she became a target for harassment and violent threats by Gamergate, a misogynistic hate group that formed after an awful nerd’s girlfriend dumped him. Many Gamergaters eventually joined the alt-right.

To her credit, Wu turned the negative attention she got from the hate group into a career booster for herself. She’s now a prominent voice in the gaming community. She also appeared on a John Oliver segment about online harassment:

Why is she running for Congress?

Wu’s candidacy is pretty surprising. She has little political experience, except for a post-college job interning for Trent Lott. Lott was a staunch conservative, but Wu told WBUR she “doesn’t vote that way anymore.”

On her campaign website, Wu explained why she is running for political office:

I believe today’s Democratic party is ill-equipped to fight the Trump administration’s assault on women, on people of color, on the poor, and on the LGBT community. We do have true progressives, but too often they don’t have the support of the party establishment.

She goes on to explain that her goals for office are to promote biotech jobs in Massachusetts and help improve the nation’s cybersecurity. She also wants to cut off conservative-leaning states from funding collected from Massachusetts taxes.

Can she win? Should she win?

Wu’s unusual background, youth and lack of political experience make her a long shot. Her opponent in the primary, establishment Democrat Stephen Lynch has held the District 8 seat since 2001. And Wu’s major qualifications, judging by her campaign ad, is that angry nerds hate her and she owns a cool motorcycle.

Under normal circumstances, we would not bet on Brianna Wu in a million years.

But this is the Trump era. The rules don’t apply any more. A sexually abusive game show host accidentally became president, and major figures in Gamergate (like former Breitbart head Steve Bannon) ended up with immense political influence. So maybe one of their targets could end up in office, too.