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Kim Jackson & Torrey Harris Make LGBTQ+ History in Southern Elections

Kim Jackson

Two LGBTQ+ candidates have broken the rainbow ceiling in their Southern states.

Kim Jackson, a lesbian Episcopal priest and social justice advocate, became the first out member of Georgia's State Senate. She will represent District 41.

Raised in a rural town in South Carolina, Jackson has called Georgia home for over a decade and lives on a farm with her partner and pets. She is an advocate for public education, criminal justice reform, ending the death penalty, and of course, LGBTQ+ equality. “I felt really early that I wanted to make a difference in the world,” she told The Advocate in a 2020 Champions of Pride profile.

Additionally, Torrey Harris won his race to represent District 90 in Tennessee's State House; he will also become the first out LGBTQ+ member of the state legislature.

Harris has lived in Memphis since 2011. He worked in human resources and serves as a board member for the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, Friends for Life Corporation HIV/AIDS Care & Prevention Services, and other progressive groups.

The LGBTQ+ Victory Fund noted how needed these out voices are in legislatures with records of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation.

There have been many notable LGBTQ+ victories on Election Night, including history-making wins in Florida, New York, and Delaware. Also in the South, Ann Johnson flipped Texas State House District 134 blue with her win, and Allison Dahle triumphed in North Carolina House District 11.

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