Ritchie Torres Makes History As First Openly Gay Black Member Of Congress

by : Tim Horner on : 04 Nov 2020 04:06
Ritchie Torres Makes History As First Openly Gay Black Member Of CongressPA Images/Richie Tomes/Twitter

New York City’s Ritchie Torres has made history by becoming the first openly gay Black member of Congress.

The 32-year-old, who at 25 became the youngest member of the City Council, secured his seat early soon after the polls closed, according to Buzzfeed News’s Decision Desk.


Torres won the primary to replace retiring Representative José Serrano in New York’s 15th District in June this year.

PA Images

Mondaire Jones, another Democratic congressional nominee in New York, is looking to take his own race tonight.

Torres first defeated Rubén Díaz Sr, a fellow member of the New York City Council, who held a long history of anti-LGBTQ+ remarks, in June’s congressional primary.


There were calls for his resignation after he said his colleagues treated him like an outcast because the council was ‘controlled by the homosexual community’.

PA Images

In 2011, Díaz held a rally opposing marriage equality in the Bronx, while his granddaughter protested him.

Torres told CBS, ‘Look, the triumph of an openly LGBTQ congressional candidate over a leading homophobic in state politics — that to me represents long-overdue poetic justice. What better way to celebrate Pride Month than to defeat the politics of homophobia?’


He later told Buzzfeed News:

I think my own acknowledgment of struggling with depression flows naturally from the experience of coming out.

The process of coming out, the integrity that it demands from you … has taught me how to be more open and honest about my struggle with depression. It teaches you an ethic of radical authenticity.

Torres’s election to office comes as America elects its first trans state senator as Sarah McBride succeeds in Delaware.

If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence, contact the LGBT Foundation on 0345 3 30 30 30, 10am–6pm Monday to Friday, or email [email protected]

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Tim Horner

Tim Horner is a senior sub-editor at UNILAD and not just because he was born in the 1980s. He graduated from University College Falmouth with a BA Journalism degree when the internet still consisted of Ceefax and Teletext and telephones were connected to the land.

Topics: News, New York, Now, US Election


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