KANSAS CITY, Mo. — When Democrat Sharice Davids was elected in 2018 as a U.S. representative for Kansas’ third congressional district, she became the first openly gay congressperson to represent her state.
“I will say one of the first times that I realized that I wanted to be at least more informed, if not more engaged, was when Missouri passed the constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman,” Davids said, “and I just remember being so both heartbroken and also upset, but I didn’t realize that so many people were going to vote in favor of that constitutional amendment."
Now, as a member of Congress, she’s directly involved in fighting to pass the Equality Act.
“Frankly, it just ensures that LGBTQ+ folks are not discriminated against in every aspect of life," Davids said.
Davids said this covers everything from housing to health care and education.
“I can represent the third district in Kansas and the United States house and also be turned away because I’m out and I’m part of the LGBTQ+ community," she said.
Through these personal examples, she said, she hopes to better educate her peers in Congress. And her efforts aren’t going unnoticed in the Kansas City metro.
“A teen-aged family member, whom I love with all my heart, is dealing with coming out as transgender,” an Overland Park woman wrote in a letter. “My biggest concern is how much harder his/her life is going to be. I can't begin to tell you how much your support and advocacy for the Equality Act means to me. Thank you, thank you, thank you."
For Davids, that’s what Pride Month is all about.