Editor’s Note: The latest episode of Gay Chicago TV’s LGBT politics show, “Critical Thinking,” hosted by Waymon Hudson, turns its focus to the upcoming elections to discuss the importance of electing out LGBT politicians and leaders — and how that can change the face of American politics and LGBT rights.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender office holders are our clearest and most convincing champions for true equality. As leaders in government, they become the face and voice of our community. They challenge the lies of extremists and speak authentically about themselves, their families and our community.
One of the most effective organizations working to achieve that goal is the Victory Fund, a nonpartisan organization that helps LGBT leaders win elections and then serve effectively.
Since its inception in 1991, the Victory Fund has helped thousands of openly LGBT candidates win election to local, state and federal offices.
To help break down the importance of having LGBT leaders in office, this episode of “Critical Thinking” features an in-depth discussion with Chuck Wolfe, President and CEO of the Victory Fund and Institute.
To speak with Wolfe, the show traveled to Wisconsin, one of the main battlegrounds for the LGBT community that is looking to make history with the election of Tammy Baldwin, an out lesbian, as the first openly LGBT member of the U.S. Senate.
In this report, Wolfe discusses the importance of having LGBT leaders elected, some of the races around the country this election cycle, and the work the Victory Fund does to train and educate future politicians.
Getting directly involved in politics and having our voices heard is vitally important to the movement for LGBT equality. That is why we need to run for office at every level of government — and support those in our community that step up to represent us.
Visibility in the political process, whether it be at the national and state level or city commissions and local school boards, can have huge impacts. By being part of the political process and having visibility in people’s everyday lives, we can break down stereotypes, remove stigma, and literally change hearts and minds by putting a human face on our community.
Having that all important seat at the political table changes the debate on LGBT rights.
It becomes harder for hostile lawmakers to make inflammatory, false, and degrading statements about our community when they have to look one of their fellow legislators who is openly LGBT in the eye day in and day out.
Having our voices in the debate and in the political decision making process itself is vital to continuing the momentum for equality, fairness, and civil rights.
There is nothing more powerful than having someone in power who knows our community’s issues because they live them every day.