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Forty Under 40

Forty Under 40

Ricardo Lara • 37
Bell Gardens, Calif.
Member, California State Assembly

One of the California state legislature’s great achievements for LGBTs is now under attack. The FAIR Education Act, which passed last year and mandates inclusion of historic LGBT accomplishments in public school curricula, may be the subject of an odious antigay ballot measure come November, but Assemblyman Ricardo Lara is fighting to thwart such a move. His argument to constituents in a heavily Democratic Los Angeles–area district transcends communities.

“I relate back to our immigrant experience, of how we’ve been treated,” says Lara, whose parents were born in Mexico. “As a Chicano, I cannot pick and choose what oppressed group I’m going to support. Oppression is oppression.”

Lara is currently running unopposed to become the first LGBT person of color in the state Senate. Such a milestone would be a welcome victory for the state’s highly diverse LGBT population.


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