Wisconsin State Rep. JoCasta Zamarripa recently came out as bisexual in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Zamarripa told the newspaper she wanted to come out in order to help young people who might be struggling with their identity.
Zamarripa, 36, is the only Hispanic member of the Wisconsin legislature, and now its third openly LGBT member. “It’s part of my life, like being a south sider and the only Hispanic in the Legislature, and I’m happy to share it with my constituents,” Zamarripa said.
She joins the ranks of LGBT and Latino legislators such as Ricardo Lara in California and John A. Pérez who is Assembly Speaker. In Texas, Mary E. Gonzalez, an openly gay Latina, recently won her primary and faces no Republican opponent. She is set to join the Texas House of Representatives as first openly LGBT woman elected to that body. In New Mexico, Jacob Candelaria won his primary in June and faces no Republican opposition this fall, and now has a clear path to the New Mexico state legislature.
In the interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Zamarripa said that as a young woman, she didn’t even feel safe enough to write about her bisexuality in her personal journal. “When Ellen (DeGeneres) came out that was when I felt I could write in my journal about it,” she said.