Sunday, January 17, 2021

Congressman Richie Torres Makes History as the First Openly Gay Afro-Latino

Bronx Representative, Richie Torres becomes the first openly gay Afro-Latino. Before being sworn in, he stated, “There is, I think, always tremendous pressure when you are the first. For me, that pressure is to make sure I’m not the last.”

Torres will be representing New York City’s 15th District, which is where he grew up. As he was interviewed, he talked about his pride on being the first Afro-Latino out of all the LGBTQ member of Congress, and his determination to be a politician representing the Bronx on his own terms.

Previously, Torres had made history as the first out-LGBTQ elected official from the Bronx, the first- out LGBTQ member of New York City’s congressional delegation, and youngest member of New York City Council for the 15th District.

Torres stated that he became a politician and elected official “by accident”. He had always dreamed of becoming a teacher or lawyer, but he met former New York City Council member James Vacca. This is what set Torres on his history-making path which led him all the way to Congress.

When Torres returned from his freshman orientation at the House of Representatives, he had dinner with his mom, who told him “this is the first time I’ve had dinner with a congressman”. Torres stated that making history was deeply gratifying, “Representation is not only a burden, it’s a blessing. I can serve as a role model and inspiration to people who see their lives and experiences in mine. I hope it inspires them to see themselves in government and public office.”

Daily Beast

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