As the midterms rapidly approach, Arizona Rep. Kyrsten Sinema has become a cause célèbre in the LGBT community for being the first bisexual nominee for U.S. Senate.
“Arizona voters shattered a lavender ceiling in selecting Kyrsten Sinema as the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate,” said the LGBTQ Victory Fund, the Washington Examiner reports.
The Victory Fund pledged to make Sinema’s sexuality a key issue in the campaign and have already painted her competition, retired Air Force pilot Rep. Martha McSally, as an “anti-LGBTQ” bigot.
“An LGBTQ Senate candidate taking down an anti-LGBTQ opponent in a red state will be a defining moment in this year’s rainbow political wave – and will further the evolution in how Americans view LGBTQ people and candidates,” the Victory Fund said in a statement.
JUST IN: Arizona's @kyrstensinema won her primary and is now the first openly bisexual U.S. Senate nominee of a major American political party. She will face anti-LGBTQ opponent Martha McSally in November. pic.twitter.com/X1WHZL1N5o
— Victory Fund (@VictoryFund) August 29, 2018
The Victory Fund’s words were echoed by LGBTQ newspaper the Washington Blade, which called Sinema’s primary win “a significant victory” as she has become “the first openly bisexual person to win a major party nomination to run for a U.S. Senate seat.”
The Human Rights Campaign praised Sinema with equal measure. The Arizona congresswoman has said in multiple interviews that her bisexuality has made her a better leader due to the adversity she faced while growing up.
“Growing up LGBT is often to be tried by fire and to wrestle with the fundamental question of who you are,” she told the Advocate earlier this year. “Virtually all of us have faced bullying, discrimination, exclusion, or worse.”
Sinema says this adversity makes LGBT people some of the most “effective leaders” in America.
“When you grow up like this, working to find common ground with people you sometimes disagree with is all you’ve ever known,” she added. “That’s why LGBT leaders are some of the hardest-working, most effective leaders you’ll find.”