Ritchie Torres to Be First African American-Latinx LGBTQ Member of Congress

Tuesday November 3, 2020

The rainbow wave continues as Ritchie Torres wins his U.S. race and will become the first openly LGBTQ African American-Latinx member of Congress when he takes office in January. If Mondaire Jones (NY-17) also wins his race tonight, they will both become the first openly LGBTQ Black members of Congress and just the second and third openly LGBTQ men of color to serve in the U.S. Congress. The first was U.S. Representative Mark Takano.

Victory Fund was among the first national endorsements for Jones and Torres and both were made priority candidates for 2020.

Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund, released the following statement about the victory:

"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."

Twenty-six openly LGBTQ candidates for U.S. Senate or U.S. House were on the November ballot this year — more than at any other time in U.S. history. Fifteen of the candidates were endorsed by Victory Fund. Currently there are seven openly LGBTQ members in the U.S. House and two openly LGBTQ U.S. Senators: Tammy Baldwin and Kyrsten Sinema.

Already, Taylor Small has won her race, making her the first out transgender person ever elected to the Vermont state legislature, and Sarah McBride has won her election for the Delaware state Senate, becoming the first out transgender person ever elected to a state senate seat anywhere in the United States.