Rep. Mondaire Jones, one of the first Black openly gay members of Congress, has become the role model he’d never had

His role models were Black and White, straight and LGBTQ, male and female, politicians and entertainers. Their achievements and activism gave him the confidence to come out nearly a decade ago, and to run for Congress last year.  …

To grow up Black and gay is to not see yourself anywhere. That’s why representation matters — if I had seen an openly gay Black person in the halls of Congress when I was growing up, it would have been living proof that things really do get better. I’m so happy that I can help increase representation for LGBTQ+ people of all races, and I’m grateful to the people of Westchester and Rockland for sending a powerful message to LGBTQ+ people around the world that your community will accept you regardless of who you love. I’m always inspired to hear from members of the LGBTQ+ community who are excited that I’m living and running as my authentic self, and how that’s giving them the confidence to do the same.

By Vanessa Williams, The Washington Post

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