Kelly Convirs-Fowler, a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, has come out as bisexual.
Convirs-Fowler made her announcement Sunday from the stage of a Pride celebration in Virginia Beach, the city she represents, The Virginian-Pilot reports.
“I’m bisexual,” she said. “I just never felt like I could say that out loud.” Convirs-Fowler, a 41-year-old Democrat, has been in the House since 2018.
Later, she told the paper that she was out to her friends and family but felt it was important to make a public statement. She has three young daughters, and “I want them to be themselves,” said Convirs-Fowler, who has been married to David Fowler for 14 years. “So if I’m in the LGBTQ community, why would I act like I’m just an ally?”
“I wanted to speak my truth, and it just felt right in the moment to say it,” she added. “I hope it helps others; that is my goal because saying it out loud can be difficult, but I want them to be able to speak their truths — you should be able to love who you want to love.”
She also felt it was important to speak out, given that LGBTQ+ rights are threatened after the Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade, therefore allowing states to ban or restrict abortion. Justice Clarence Thomas has said he’d like to go after marriage equality and other rights. “It’s all very worrisome,” she said.
Cat Porterfield, a friend of the legislator and mother of a bisexual daughter, praised Convirs-Fowler for coming out. “I think it’s important because people need to see themselves in their representatives,” Porterfield, who witnessed the announcement, told The Virginian-Pilot. “You are representing the people of your district, and the people of your district are not all cisgender straight people.”
Convirs-Fowler’s coming-out increases the diversity of the Virginia House. Del. Mark Sickles is gay, Del. Dawn Adams is a lesbian, and Del. Danica Roem is transgender.
Roem, the first out trans person seated in any state legislature, tweeted in support of Convirs-Fowler. She wrote, “I couldn’t be more proud of her declaration of Pride.”
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