Ritchie Torres and Mondaire Jones make history as first out gay Black men elected to Congress



Ritchie Torres and Mondaire Jones will become the first gay Black members of Congress, it has emerged.

Both will take the roles in January 2021 after winning their respective Democratic New York districts this week.

Jones won in New York’s 17th congressional district while Torres won in the 15th congressional district.

Torres identifies as both Black and Latino and will therefore also be the first out gay Latino Congressman.

Responding to the news on Twitter, Jones tweeted: “I am humbled by the trust voters in Westchester and Rockland have placed in me, and grateful for the opportunity to serve the community that raised me — the community that just sent an openly gay, Black guy who grew up in Section 8 housing and on food stamps to Congress.”

Torres meanwhile added: “A wise person once said: if you don't have a seat at the table, then you're probably on the menu. With @MondaireJones and I, LGBTQ people of color will have a seat at one of the most powerful tables: the United States Congress.”

In a statement, Annise Parker, the CEO of The LGBTQ Victory Fund (a committee dedicated to increasing the number of openly LGBTQ public officials said: “Most would have thought New York City’s first LGBTQ member of Congress would be from Chelsea or Greenwich Village or Hell’s Kitchen, but the Bronx beat them to it.

"As our nation attempts to tackle systemic racism, police reform and healthcare disparities, Ritchie’s lived experience as an out LGBTQ Afro-Latinx man will bring an essential perspective to Capitol Hill. Ritchie’s election gives hope at a time when many Americans desperately need it. He will become a role model for LGBTQ youth in the Bronx and beyond.”

Of Jones, she added: “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. 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.”

The US election took place on Tuesday 3 November 2020 with Republican leader Donald Trump going up against Democrat Joe Biden. At the time of writing, a winner had still not been announced.

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