The LGBT news magazine The Advocate picked Senator Tammy Baldwin as its person of the year. Considering she was sworn in last week as ‘the first openly gay US. senator’ very few will argue with her selection.
Baldwin, who held her first 2013 interview with the magazine, describes a moment of political awakening. It was 1984, and she had graduated from Smith College with a double major in math and political science. Job prospects were dim, but she found inspiration in Geraldine Ferraro. That year, Ferraro was the first woman to be nominated as a vice presidential candidate for a major political party.
‘I remember watching the Democratic convention and her giving her speech and thinking to myself, I can aspire to anything. There’s no limits anymore,’ Baldwin said to the magazine.
She hopes her journey to the US Senate plays the same role for budding LGBT politicians.
‘At every glass ceiling I’ve broken, I’ve hoped that that’s the message that goes out so loudly and clearly,” Baldwin says. ‘This is a message that we don’t have to limit our aspirations in this society anymore.’
This year will be known as a highlight in LGBT political power. Joining Baldwin in Washington, DC will be six LGBT representatives, including David Cicilline, Sean Patrick Maloney, Mark Pocan, Jared Polis, Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Takano. As reported by the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, an organization that works to get gay politicians elected, Polis and Cicilline are returning to the chamber for their third and second terms, respectively. The remaining four are freshman.