This week, we honor Tammy Baldwin, U.S. Senator, history-maker, advocate, and #OutLeader. Tammy has made history – twice – when she became the first openly gay politician and the first woman from Wisconsin to be elected to the U.S. Senate in 2012. A born and raised badger-state native, Tammy also served Wisconsin in Congress in 1998. Tammy is a voice for EVERY Wisconsinite.
In the Senate, Tammy brings our nation’s leadership one step closer to reflecting the diverse makeup of the American people more accurately. On the day of her election, she proudly expressed, “This is a big day for gay women in America, and really, for all communities who aren’t the typical straight, white, wealthy men elected to Congress.”
As a representative from Wisconsin, Tammy co-founded and co-chaired the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, where she significantly expanded civil rights initiatives and hate crimes legislation. She currently serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, and the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee.
Tammy recently spoke at our 2022 OutNext Conference in New York City. Speaking to a group of young LGBTQ+ leaders, she emphasized the importance of visibility and storytelling. “You could argue that in the United States in the 1970s, coming out might have felt like an unreasonable risk. But if we hadn’t started doing it in more numbers, we would not have won the hearts, minds, and support of our families, our coworkers, and our peers. We need that – we’re a minority. So if we’re going to get majorities in legislative bodies, and if we’re going to gain acceptance, we have to be visible.”
She concluded with these wise words: “Both in government and business having a seat at the table matters. I like to say that if you’re not in the room the conversation is about you, but if you’re in the room the conversation is actually with you.”
Senator Baldwin, thank you for everything you’ve done for your community – both the people of Wisconsin and LGBTQ+ people across the country!