Representation matters. That’s true for all those who have historically suffered bias and discrimination. And it’s no less important for the LGBTQ+ community. Many LGBTQ+ Americans continue to suffer, particularly in the name of “religious freedom,” a phrase many Republicans use to pit religion against us. But as former presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg proved, we are everywhere, even in religious communities.
Allies are important, but no one understands what it is like to grow up and live LGBTQ+ as well as LGBTQ+ people. That is why it is so important to have as many candidates and elected officials from our community as possible.
With that in mind, the Democrats Abroad LGBTQ+ Caucus is profiling candidates from our community from across the country, from liberal bastions to more conservative areas. These include candidates such as Jabari Brisport, who is running for New York State Senate from Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, as well as Gina Ortiz Jones, who is running for Congress from a Texas district currently held by a Republican.
These elections could also bring a number of firsts. Marko Liias, who is running to be Washington State’s lieutenant governor, would be his state’s first LGBTQ+ statewide elected official. Todd Gloria, who is running to be the next mayor of San Diego, would become the first out LGBTQ+ person as well as the first person of color to lead his city. And Kim Jackson could become Georgia’s first LGBTQ+ state senator.
The following profiles are not meant as endorsements. We are offering them as tools to help you, the voter, make informed decisions. In many ways, LGBTQ+ people are invisible minorities, so we hope putting a spotlight on these candidates helps you not only to know them, but also to understand why representation of our community in the halls of power matters.