Kate Brown is the governor-elect of Oregon and, as a bisexual woman, the first openly LGBT person to be elected governor in the United States. While Brown, a Democrat, has actually already been in office since 2012, taking over the job from Gov. John Kitzhaber after he resigned amid a scandal, this marked the first time she’s been elected to the state’s highest office. In an interview with The Washington Post the day after her election, Brown said she was honored to achieve the milestone and proud of the things her office had already accomplished for the LGBT community (such as a ban on conversion therapy), but a lot of work remained to be done. Reflecting on Donald Trump’s victory, she said that the first job as the president-elect is “to bring the country together, and for me, one of the most important things that he can do is to unite our country and preserve the ideals that make our country great, and that is about justice and equal rights for all people,” adding that “those of us at the leadership table, we’re going to have to use our voices, and we’re going to have to reach back and pull up more women.”
A defining moment in Brown’s campaign was when she shared an experience of domestic violence during a debate, which she said was about “sharing a part of myself and my experiences to connect with basically the one million women and girls in this state who have been victims of domestic violence or sexual assault,” making them know that “I had had similar experiences, and that I was standing shoulder to shoulder with them and I would continue to fight for them.” Further reflecting on what happened in the election on Tuesday, she offered a message of hope. “I graduated from high school in 1978. I have watched the feminist movement ebb and flow over time. We have taken steps forward, and we have had to take steps back. I was intricately involved in the fight for LGBTQ equality in this state. I know that in the end, we will continue to move forward, and we will continue to move in the direction of justice and equality. I know that in my heart.”
Read the full story at The Washington Post.