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10 LGBTQ politicians providing hope for 2021

Meet the movers and shakers who form the Politics category in the inaugural Attitude 101 list.

2021-01-13

The inaugural Attitude 101 list is here, and we're shining a rainbow-coloured spotlight on 100 LGBTQ trailblazers - and one Person of the Year - whose contributions to their fields are changing the world as we know it.

After a difficult year, it's time to look firmly to the future as we celebrate queer accomplishments from across a range of sectors.

Attitude 101 consists of 10 categories, each containing 10 individuals, and importantly forgoes any kind of ranking; instead highlighting the collective power of our community's individual achievements.

Bridgerton star Jonathan Bailey appears on the cover of the Attitude 101 February issue, out now

The categories are as follows: Science, technology, engineering & mathematics; Fashion and design; Sport; Third Sector & Community; The Future (25 and Under), supported by Clifford Chance; Media and Broadcast; Financial & Legal; Arts & Entertainment. Plus a very special Person of the Year, whose achievements in 2020 have set a new precedent for what's possible for LGBTQ people.

Politics has certainly been a hot topic in the UK and the US with Brexit and the presidential election dominating the headlines. Thankfully, we have a fair few acting on our behalf, fighting the good fight.

The 10 LGBTQ trailblazers featured in the Attitude 101 Politics category are all individuals who are campaigning and standing up for LGBTQ rights here in the UK and abroad. Check them out below:

Dame Inga BealeChair of HIV Commission

As the first female CEO of Lloyd’s of London (in its 326-year history), Dame Inga Beale is used to pushing the envelope and spearheading change. But even this esteemed businesswoman bristled when faced with arguably the biggest challenge of her career: chairing England’s HIV Commission.

The independent body, supported by the Terrence Higgins Trust, National AIDS Trust and Elton John AIDS Foundation, was instructed to put together an action plan to end HIV transmissions in England by 2030, in line with the United Nations’ zero-infections target.

Erica Malunguinho - Sao Paulo state assembly

 

Two years ago, Erica Malunguinho made history as the first black trans woman elected as a state representative in Brazil. A member of the Socialism and Liberation party, Erica ran amid a storm of racist and homophobic campaigning from far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro. She obtained over 50,000 votes, to win a seat in the Sao Paulo legislature.

“We have a gigantic mission to recover the notion of politics for the people,” she told HuffPost. “Institutional politics was placed far from the people, mainly far from historically vulnerable groups. Our mission is to make that rapprochement and humanise politics.”

Grant Robertson - Deputy prime minister of New Zealand


Appointed deputy prime minister of New Zealand by the world’s most adored leader, Jacinda Ardern, in November 2020, Grant Robertson is the first out gay man to hold the position. A Labour MP since 2008 and current Minister for Finance, Robertson resides in Wellington with his civil partner Alf, whom he met through playing rugby for the Wellington-based Krazy Knights, New Zealand’s first gay rugby team.

With Ardern and Labour’s landslide election victory allowing them to form the first single-party government in decades, Robertson will be a more influential deputy prime minister than most for the rest of the term.

Ritchie Torres - US Representative-elect for New York’s 15th congressional district


When Torres and fellow New Yorker Mondaire Jones became the first out gay, black men elected to Congress in 2020, history was made.

Born in the Bronx, the 32-year-old high-flier became the borough’s first gay legislative official when he was elected to the city council in 2013 aged 25. Once there, he helped open the Bronx’s first homeless shelter for LGBTQ youth and secure funds for senior centres to serve LGBTQ people in New York City.

His victory over long-time Congressman and avowed homophobe Rubén Díaz Sr. proved times really are a-changin’.

Sarah McBride - Delaware state senator-elect


First trans person to address a major US party convention; first trans person to intern at The White House — Sarah McBride’s life has been defined by firsts. And when the 30-year-old National Press Secretary of the Human Rights Campaign is sworn in as state senator for Delaware’s 1st district in January, she will officially become the highest-ranking transgender official in US history.

But with criminal justice reform and improved healthcare access at the centre of her platform, Sarah isn’t changing the world through simple representation alone — she’s using her position to forge a better one every single day.

Mondaire Jones - Representative-elect for New York’s 17th congressional district


One of the first out gay, black men elected to Congress in 2020, 33-year-old Mondaire Jones is a Harvard Law graduate who worked in the Obama administration’s justice department before making a bid to represent New York’s 17th congressional district.

Jones’s vow to fight for “Medicare for all”, tuition-free college, and the Green New Deal establishes him firmly among the party’s progressive new guard.

“I was never running to be one of 435 people in the House of Representatives,” Jones said during his campaign. “I’m running to be a transformational figure in American politics.”

Karine Jean-Pierre - Incoming deputy White House press secretary


A long-time political strategist and pundit, Karine Jean-Pierre worked on presidential campaigns for Barack Obama before she was appointed senior advisor to the Joe Biden 2020 presidential campaign, where she served as chief of staff for soon-to-be vice president-elect Kamala Harris.

Jean-Pierre’s appointment as deputy White House press secretary ensures that a proud lesbian woman of Haitian heritage will serve at the heart of the Biden administration. It’s sure to provide plenty of material for a sequel to her 2019 memoir, Moving Forward: A Story of Hope, Hard Work, and the Promise of America.

Ana Brnabić - Prime minister, Serbia

Ana Brnabić is the first woman — and openly gay person — to be elected prime minister of Serbia. She also made history as the first LGBTQI world leader whose partner gave birth while in office.

“Serbia is changing and changing fast, and if you will, I am part of that change, but I do not want to be branded ‘Serbia’s gay PM,’” Ana said at the time of her election.

When the UK-educated politician was appointed in 2017 — by Aleksandar Vučić, president and leader of the Serbian Progressive Party — she was considered a surprising choice. But Ana has proven popular and will lead a second term following a landslide win in October.

Mhairi Black - SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire South


The youngest MP to be elected to the Commons in almost 200 years may no longer hold the title of ‘Baby of the House’, but half a decade and two successful re-elections later, Mhairi Black remains a formidable political star.

Still just 26, the Paisley-born MP was appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland in 2020 and remains committed to dragging the “old boys’ club” of Westminster firmly into the 21st century.

Black’s unapologetically no-nonsense attitude was on full display when she was quizzed about her coming-out experience shortly after her original election in 2015, responding: “I’ve never been in”.

Chris Bryant - Labour MP for Rhondda

2021 will mark Chris Bryant’s 20th year in the House of Commons, each one spent out and proud. It also marks the 11th anniversary of his civil partnership with Jared Cranney — the first civil partnership ceremony ever held in the Houses of Parliament.

The former C of E clergyman has been a champion of his community throughout his career, and in 2020 shed more light on its hidden history with his book, The Glamour Boys; a gripping exploration of the lives of 10 queer MPs who stood up against prime minister Neville Chamberlain’s policy of appeasement towards Hitler in the run-up to the Second World War.

See the full list of 101 LGBTQ trailblazers in the Attitude 101 February issue, out now to download and to order globally.

Subscribe in print and get your first three issues for just £3, or digitally for just over £1 per issue.