November 16, 2012

LGBT Reps Elected House Speaker In 4 States And First Transgender Legislator Elected To N.H. State House

Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Americans have been elected to a record number of state legislatures

By Roy Steele

There were many “firsts” achieved by LGBT candidates in the 2012 election, and the great news keeps coming.

In state legislatures from California to Maine, we have out and open LGBT elected representatives who believe in equality. These politicians and LGBT milestones are notable and historic in breadth, absofuckinglutely amazing, and worth sharing with you.

  • State Representative Tina Kotek (D-Portland) was chosen to be the Speaker of the Oregon State House of Representatives. Tina will be the first out lesbian to lead a political party in a state legislature.

  • State Senator Ed Murray (D-Seattle) was chosen to be the majority leader in the Washington State Senate.



  • California state Assembly Speaker John Pérez (D-Los Angeles) was unanimously re-elected by his colleagues to remain Speaker.

  • New Hampshire Democrat Stacie Laughton defeated two Republican challengers to win a seat in the state House of Representatives, becoming the first transgendered politician elected to a state legislature.

  • Mary Gonzalez (D-El Paso) ran unopposed for a seat in the Texas state legislature, and was the first pansexual activist elected to a state legislative seat.

  • Kate Brown, the Oregon Secretary of State was re-elected, and is the first lesbian elected to statewide office in Oregon.

  • North Dakota Democrat Joshua Boschee won a seat in the North Dakota House, and he is the first open LGBT candidate to be elected to the North Dakota state legislature.

  • Stephen Skinner (D-Jefferson) was elected to the West Virginia House of Delegates, and he is the first openly gay man elected to the state legislature.

  • Jacob Candelaria is the State Senator-elect representing New Mexico’s 26th District, and is the first openly gay man to be elected to the New Mexico legislature.

I will never forget when I voted for Barack Obama for President in 2008. His victory was thrilling and historic in so many ways, and what excited me the most was that our country elected a man to be President who didn’t look like the 43 white dudes elected to the office before him. That gave me hope, and motivated me to do everything I could to ensure that it happened again, so it’s no secret that I’m thrilled that President Obama was re-elected.

I truly believe that in the not so distant future that we’ll see a woman in the White House (finally), and hopefully we’ll have another President who is NOT a stodgy and conservative old white man, and that each successive Commander-in-Chief will support full equality for the LGBT community. That will pave the way for a lesbian or gay or bisexual or transgender President, and then we’ll know that we’ve really arrived.

We all have to dream in order to make those dreams a reality. Hopefully the success of these LGBT state legislators, will inspire you to follow your dreams too.

I write about these milestones to serve as an inspiration to LGBTQ kids, and adults too, or anyone feeling ostracized or marginalized by their school, friends, family, or community, due to their sexuality or perceived sexuality. These role models prove that we can overcome bigotry, prejudice and discrimination.

Mahatma Ghandi said “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

For the first time, we’re winning.

And that’s a beautiful thing.


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