Mondaire Jones has made history in New York, becoming the first openly gay Black person elected to Congress.
A lawyer who ran on a progressive Democratic platform in New York’s 17th Congressional District, Jones bested his Republican opponent Maureen McArdle Schulman.
Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of the LGBTQ Victory Fund — which endorsed Jones in his bid for Congress — celebrated his historic win.
“Mondaire’s victory is a milestone moment in our nation’s politics and his victory will inspire more people of color and LGBTQ people to run for office in their communities,” Parker said. “Mondaire has been witness to the injustices faced by Black people, LGBTQ people and other marginalized communities and he ran for Congress to be in a position to address them. He will be a powerful voice for change and his impact will extend well beyond a single vote in the U.S. House.”
Jones will join another history-making New Yorker in Congress, New York City Councilman Ritchie Torres, who won his congressional district and will become the first openly gay Afro-Latino elected to Congress.
“Mondaire and Ritchie have shattered a rainbow ceiling and will bring unique perspectives based on lived experiences never before represented in the U.S. Congress,” Parker said. “As our nation grapples with racism, police brutality and a pandemic that disproportionally affects people of color and LGBTQ people, these are the voices that can pull us from the brink and toward a more united and fair society.”
She added: “Their elections will end any doubts about the electability of Black LGBTQ men to our nation’s highest legislative body. It will also inspire more young LGBTQ leaders and leaders of color to run and serve.”
Speaking to Metro Weekly prior to the election, Jones addressed the challenges of running as an openly gay Black candidate.
“I’ve experienced more racism than I’ve experienced homophobia on the campaign trail, including from the white gay community,” Jones said at the time. “I definitely remember calling a prospective donor who holds himself out to the world as being a leader in the gay community, and asking him for a contribution, and before I could even introduce myself to him, he’s telling me that he wishes he could support me, but he does not believe that I can serve my black religious community and the gay community at the same time. Which was extraordinary, because I rarely go to church.”
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Rhuaridh Marr is Metro Weekly's online editor. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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