I have never been to Times Square. I have never been to New York City. But I have frequently attended Harvard University, so I was quite pleased to have met Christine Quinn, who was the first woman and openly gay City Council Speaker. It is really important to me to see leaders, both in public service, and in general, that share in my identity and understand the negative connotations associated with those particular things. Since losing the race for New York City Mayor, she joined the board of Athlete Ally, been named leader of the nonprofit organization Women in Need (or WIN), and Special Advisor to Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Although I got to spend much less time with Councilmember Ritchie Torres, than former Speaker Christine Quinn, I was none-the-less pleased to have had such an opportunity. He was one of the special guest speakers at the Hispanic Black Gay Coalition’s 4th Annual Youth Empowerment Conference. He was assumed office in 2014 as the first openly gay councilmember from the Bronx, alongside Carlos Menchaca, the first openly gay councilmember from Brooklyn and the council’s first Mexican-American. They both join other openly gay councilmembers Jimmy Van Bramer (District 26 – Queens, assumed office in 2010), Daniel Dromm (District 25 – Queens, assumed office in 2010), Rosie Méndez (District 2 – Manhattan, assumed office in 2006), and Corey Johnson (District 3 – Manhattan, assumed office in 2014, succeeding Christine Quinn).