When John Perez became speaker of the California State Assembly in March 2010, he was only the second LGBT person to be elected to lead a state legislative chamber in US history.
He now finds himself with lots more company - especially after last week’s US elections where 118 LGBT people were elected nationwide.
‘It was a phenomenal election across the country,’ Perez tells Gay Star News.
He was buoyed by such milestones as Wisconsin’s Tammy Baldwin becoming the first out lesbian elected to the US Senate and Mark Takano of California the first openly gay Asian-American elected to the US House of Representatives.
‘Everyone talks about the presidential election and obviously it is spectacular to reelect a president who is such a strong ally,’ Perez says. ‘But as a state legislator, I also watch what happens in state legislatures. I know what a difference it makes to have representation at every level of government so it was a phenomenal election.’