Metro Weekly

Michele Rayner-Goolsby becomes first Black queer woman elected to Florida House

Rayner-Goolsby makes history in the Sunshine State as the 'first openly Black queer women ever elected in Florida at any level'

Michele Rayner-Goolsby, florida, history, election, queer, lgbtq

Michele Rayner-Goolsby — Photo: Twitter

Michele Rayner-Goolsby has made history by becoming the first out LGBTQ Black woman elected to Florida’s House of Representatives.

Rayner-Goolsby, who describes herself as an “unapologetic Black woman,” won in Florida’s District 70. Her victory was a certainty after winning the Democratic primary, as she was unopposed in the general election.

In August, she noted the historic nature of her win in a tweet, writing, “Y’all. It just hit me. I’m the first openly Black queer women ever elected in Florida-at any level.”

She continued: “Our team was led by a Black woman. It was anchored by women and women of color. We won because we defined ourselves for ourselves.”

In a release after she won the Democratic primary, Rayner-Goolsby said her victory “represents a new day.”

“We’ve run a campaign focused on putting people over politics and that’s rooted in a commitment to working with and for residents until the change they seek is a reality,” she said. “This win proves that this community is…tired [of] business as usual and ready for change, and I’m so grateful and humbled that the voters of District 70 have elected me to represent them in Tallahassee to move us closer to the change we all deserve.”

Rayner-Goolsby’s victory came alongside another historic first in the Sunshine State, after fellow Democrat Shevrin Jones was elected to be Florida’s first openly gay state senator.

Jones is expected to be one of only two out LGBTQ Black men serving in state senates in the United States, alongside Jabari Brisport in New York.

Read more:

Mondaire Jones becomes first openly gay Black member of Congress

Ritchie Torres becomes first openly gay Afro-Latino elected to Congress

Shevrin Jones elected Florida’s first openly gay state senator

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Rhuaridh Marr is Metro Weekly's online editor. He can be reached at rmarr@metroweekly.com.

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