The 2012 election saw many 'firsts' for our nation's government. It is important to be aware of these firsts as a reminder that our society has come a long way inworking towards equality and representation in our governing bodies, as well as a reminder that we still have a long ways to go.
Ideally, our government (at all levels) should represent all persons, so everyone has the opportunity for their values and opinions to be heard. This is, of course, easier said than done. It is also a difficult thing to measure. Certainly, just because someone is of the same gender, sexuality, race or ethnicity, or religion does not mean that they represent everyone from those groups; there is often more diversity of opinion within groups than between them. However, it is an indicator that attitudes are becoming more egalitarian when we see persons elected to office from demographics that have never been elected to a position before. Not because their identity is causing them to be a better representative, but because their identity is not inhibiting them from being elected.
You may be familiar with some of the firsts of this election, but in case you've missed a few, here they are: