Making HERstory: Sharice Davids Could Be the First Native American and Out Lesbian Congresswoman
Sharice Davids, an attorney, activist and former professional mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter, won the Democratic nomination for Congress in Kansas on Tuesday. This nomination alone has already made history. If elected, Davids will be the first Native American and out lesbian congresswoman in the United States. Davids would also become the second openly lesbian member of Congress, after Senator Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin. Davids practices Native American law and advocated for the enhancement of Native American reservations and their communities. Davids also held a prestigious fellowship at the White House from 2015-2016 during the Obama Administration that spilled over into the Trump regime.
Kansas is a conservative state with very little ethnic diversity in the population and the politicians also largely reflect the lack of diversity. According to the 2010 U.S. census, Kansas racial makeup was 87% White American, 5.5% African American and only 1% American Indian or Alaska Native. The Kansas equality profile estimates that only about 3.1% of the adult Kansas population identifies as LGBTQ. This staggering lack of diversity in the population's racial, ethnic, sexual orientation and gender identity construct makes Davids election even more hopeful that a politician's effectiveness does not have to be limited to male, cis and white individuals.
Davids has spent years as a pro-gay rights activists and fighting bills that are discriminatory on issues such as foster care placement, adoption and representative groups in high schools and college campuses, at both the state and federal level. Davids is a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, a Native American tribe in Wisconsin. She has lived and worked on Native American reservations and worked with tribes to create economic development opportunities, programs, and initiatives. In an interview with People Magazine, Davids opened up about her mothers unconditional acceptance. Rather than coming out, she simply began dating a girl and her mother encouraged her to be herself.
Many media outlets and publications are calling this 'the wave' in LGBTQ+ identifying individuals being nominated or elected into positions. However Davids asserted that “It’s less of a wave and more of a rising tide...It’s more long-term.” The influx of acceptance and diversity of the qualified individuals into Congress and other political offices, is something that Davids not only anticipates, but looks forward to.
Elections take place in November 2018! Get ready for Sharice Davids to change the landscape!
Learn more about Sharice Davids here.