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Congress Honors Trans Politician Andrea Jenkins, Other Black Leaders

Andrea Jenkins

A resolution passed today by the U.S. Congress honors the contributions and achievements of Black LGBTQ+ people to American history.

One of those being honored is Andrea Jenkins, a Minneapolis city councilmember representing Ward 8. According to the resolution, Jenkins “is the first openly transgender woman to be elected to public office in the state of Minnesota and the first Black transgender woman elected to public office in the nation.”

Before winning her election in 2017, Jenkins worked as a policy aide to Council Vice President Elizabeth Glidden. She won the election with over 70 percent of the vote.

The congressional resolution, introduced by California Representative Barbara Lee, says that the House “recognizes Black History Month as an important time to celebrate the remarkable and unique contributions of all LGBTQ+ Black American in U.S. history,” and so wants to say the names of some of those Black LGBTQ+ Americans.

The resolution also honors LGBTQ+ artists and activists like choreographer Alvin Ailey, inventor of the high-five and former professional baseball player Glenn Burke, Stonewall veterans Marsha P. Johnson, Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, and Storme DeLarverie, writers James Baldwin and Audre Lorde, and Black Lives Matter co-founders Patrisse Cullors and Alicia Garza.

Also honored are Martin Jenkins, the first openly gay California Supreme Court Justice, Barbara Jordan, the first African-American elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Texas, Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot, author, lawyer and minister Pauli Murray, Ron Oden, the first out Black mayor of a U.S. city (Palm Springs, Calif.), civil rights legend Bayard Rustin, Jewel’s Catch One founder Jewel Thais-Williams, and Black AIDS Institute founder Phill Wilson.

The resolution also honors Black leaders of LGBTQ+ advocacy groups including, “Alphonso David at the Human Rights Campaign, Imani Rupert-Gordon at National Center for Lesbian Rights, Kierra Johnson at National LGBTQ Task Force, David Johns at National Black Justice Coalition, Dominique Morgan at Black and Pink, Gabriel Foster at Trans Justice Funding Project, and Carter Brown at Black TransMen Inc.”

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