LGBT+ representation in Congress is important. In this 2018 Midterm Election, there are more LGBT+ candidates running than ever before. Visibility matters. Recognition is among the horizon.
Currently, the representation of LGBT+ in Congress is not equally represented with those who are straight. It does not represent the community accurately. This is not just a small community, millions identify with it. Representation means power. Right now, we need the power to make change happen regarding LGBT+ issues.
Katie Hill: California, District 25, House of Representatives
Katie Hill identifies as bisexual and if elected, she would represent the small minority of LGBT+ women in Congress. Bisexuality is not represented anywhere in Congress.
On her campaign site, Hill said, “To achieve equality for all in our policies, we need more voices from the LGBTQ community in Congress.”
It is important to represent a diverse group of identities in office because different issues affect other identities differently. If elected, Hill will turn a predominantly red district into a blue. Hill will fight for the LGBTQ community along with protection of equality for all.
James D. Ford: Indiana, United States Senator
If Ford is elected, this will be a first for the Indiana Senate.
“We have zero out-serving members of the LGBTQ+ community in our General Assembly and year-after-year, we see legislative attacks on our Community,” Ford told us on an exclusive interview.
Ford wants the general assembly to be representative of the Indiana population. He will not tolerate hateful attitudes, but rather, fight against them. He aims to create inclusivity and make Indiana welcoming for all. “We must run for office, we must speak out, and we must not allow hateful attitudes to be tolerated,” Ford affirmed.
Sam Park: Georgia, District 101, House of Representatives
Sam Park was elected into the House of Representatives for Georgia after the 2016 elections. He was not only the first openly gay man in the Georgia State Legislature, but he was also the first Asian American Democrat.
On Park’s campaign site, he states that “it is time our elected officials and representatives reflect that diversity. Our diversity makes us stronger.”
It all comes back to representation of the community of who they will serve. He ensures that he will fight any discriminatory legislation against the LGBT+ community because that is not what his district represents.
Derek Kitchen: Utah, United States Senator
If Derek Kitchen is elected, he will be the first LGBT+ member in the Utah state legislature. In 2014, his case, Kitchen v. Herbert, legalized marriage equality in 2014 for Utah and four other states. This case was a catalyst to the 2015 legalization of marriage equality nationwide. His court case alone has made a historic impact on the LGBT+ community prior to being a candidate in office.
Kitchen strives to “strengthen Hate Crimes laws & build understanding for the unique issues that the queer community faces.”
With Kitchen in office, he will work towards recognition and respect for those in the LGBT+ community and beyond.
Tammy Baldwin: Wisconsin, United States Senator
Tammy Baldwin was the first LGBT+ person to ever be elected into Senate. She paved a way for many of the candidates featured in this article. Baldwin was also the first woman to serve from Wisconsin.
She introduced the Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA) that protects students from being bullied because of their gender identity or sexual orientation.
Baldwin said, “Congress must make absolutely clear that every student, including LGBTQ youth, must have access to an education free from discrimination, harassment, and bullying.”
Kyrsten Sinema: Arizona, US Senate
There are a lot of firsts that will be achieved if Kyrsten Sinema is elected.
She would be the first openly bisexual member of Senate. Also, in terms of her state, she would be the first woman elected into Senate.
Sinema is proudly bisexual and is not afraid to say it.
Though she faced homelessness as a child, she has worked hard to achieve her American Dream. This is a dream she hopes to help other Arizonans achieve.
With this said, it is important to vote. There has never been a more diverse group of candidates, so the time is now to elect diversity into Congress.
It is important to do the research about who the candidates are along with their stances. Equal representation is far from being achieved. However, if you vote in a more representative manner, change is around the corner.