NBC News notes that the entire city council of Palm Springs, California, is now lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer (LGBTQ), as of last month’s elections — the first time that has happened anywhere in the United States.
The city, long noted as a retirement and vacation destination, has become a gay haven in recent years. And, as LGBTQ activists have become more involved in politics — and as more politicians have emerged from “the closet” — more have sought and won elected office.
Palm Springs, California, is now being represented by the nation’s first entirely LGBTQ city council.
Yes, all five members of the city council identify within the LGBTQ community, and they represent every letter in the acronym. …
“I really believe Trumpism is a backlash from the social progress we’ve made over the last 20 years,” Christy Holstege, an openly bisexual woman and member of the Palm Springs City Council, told NBC News. “But we’re going to continue to make progress.”
Lisa Middleton, a lesbian transgender woman, who was also elected last month, said she is proud to be a part of the nation’s first all-LGBTQ city council, but that it was a result of simply electing the best people for the job.
Some of the council members say they have encountered prejudice — including from fellow members of the LGBTQ community:
Holstege recounted being asked intrusive questions at campaign events by the press and even other LGBTQ people in the community.
“There is a lot of biphobia and bi invisibility,” Holstege said. “In interviews I was asked about my sex life. The public was asking, including gay people, how I could be LGBTQ if I’m married to a man.”
The mayor of Palm Springs, Robert Moon, is also gay — the third gay mayor in the city’s history.
Earlier this month, the New York Times reported on Palm Springs’ “extraordinary journey”:
It was here in 1987 that Liberace, a longtime resident, died of complications related to AIDS after years of refusing to acknowledge his homosexuality and laying the blame for a sudden, significant weight loss on a watermelon diet gone wrong.
While the names of streets and structures here commemorate its Rat Pack and Republican pasts — there’s Frank Sinatra Drive and, at the airport, the Sonny Bono Concourse — its present is progressive and very, very gay. Democrats handily outnumber Republicans. The local officials I spoke with guessed that anywhere from 20 percent to 40 percent of the city’s residents are gay or lesbian.
Now, the city’s leaders hope to prove, as one member of the council told the Times, that “being gay has nothing to do with our policies.”
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.
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