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New Wave Representation: Black Queer Folks Fight in Legislation

Throughout the course of the Trump Administration, there has been a revival in struggles for the Black and queer community across the nation. His reelection would have set both communities back at least thirty years in progression. Especially the queer community, who has been facing double the discrimination and the possible loss of basic human rights, including reproductive rights and marriage equality. Thankfully, President-elect Joseph Biden has secured the blue win and has promised us continued protection. And even more importantly, there is a new wave of elected black queer officials going into important political offices across the nation with plans to invoke real change. Including, Vice-President elect Kamala Harris chief-of-staff, Karine Jean-Pierre.

This is an important time for all individuals of color and varying queer status, but especially for the Black queer community. Read about some of these newly elected black queer officials you should know.

Michele Rayner-Goolsby

Michele is a proud Floridian queer womxn (pronouns She/Her) that has dedicated her career to civil rights and social justice. Up until being elected for the Florida House of Representatives, she was a public defender in Clearwater, Fl, and had her own private practice Civil Liberty Law (CL2), which is still active today. The law firm’s objective is to build the best possible defense for clients and was created because of Michele’s passion and experience. She now represents District 70 in the State House and is the first openly queer womxn to have won in the state of Florida.

Mauree Turner

Mauree, an Oklahoma native, is not only the first public non-binary US state lawmaker, but they are also the first Muslim member of the Oklahoma Legislature. They represent District 88 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives with a focus on criminal justice reform. Mauree has stated on various platforms that they allow both They/Them and She/Her pronouns.

Tiara Mack

Tiara represents Rhode Island’s 6th District and won with 90 percent of the vote. The impressive part of her win is that she unseated Harold Metts, who had been a state senator since 2005 and was anti-LGBTQ. Her biggest focus is having leaders that are going to look out for our society and communities and not let them fall during a global pandemic. Her pronouns are She/Her.

Kim Jackson

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Kim is an Episcopal priest in addition to being a politician. Her win is impressive because she is the first out priest of color ordained, as well as Georgia’s first openly LGBTQ Senator. She comes from a family of social work—her father was a social worker for 30+ years and her mother is a retired nurse. It was from her mom that she learned about the importance of access to quality early education and health care. She now represents District 41—outer Atlanta and Marietta Georgia. Kim goes by the pronouns She/Her.

Karine Jean-Pierre

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Karine, Vice-President-elect Kamala’s chief-of-staff, isn’t completely new on our radar of black queer womxn. She was part of President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign as Deputy Battleground states Director. She also worked as the Regional Political Director for the White House Office of Political Affairs. In 2003 she graduated from the University of Columbia with an MPA in International and Public Affairs, then later returned to her alma mater as a lecturer in the same subject. Her main focus is activism in human rights, and has demonstrated such by her work with the Center for Community and Corporate Ethics. She identifies as a lesbian and her pronouns are She/Her.

Written by: Samantha Benjamin-Nolan


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