PA State Rep. Brian Sims Says He Works With Lots Of Closeted Lawmakers

Woofy Pennsylvania state Rep. Brian Sims, the only openly gay lawmaker in the state legislature, says being in politics often means he has to put himself “in a lot of situations where I know homophobia already exists.”

In a recent interview with The Advocate, Sims says the homophobia he sees at work includes several of his colleagues at the state capital.

“I serve with over a dozen closeted members, whom I would never identify to anybody else, and when I joined the legislature, many of them were co-sponsors of anti-LGBT bills. Some of the most intense misogyny I see towards women comes from gay men. Whereas I would think that living a life where others marginalize you would teach you how to combat marginalization and how to recognize it, oftentimes, it teaches people how to be good at it themselves.”



Sims, who made history in 2012 when he became the first openly gay man elected to the state Assembly, says the recent surge in LGBTQ candidates running for office is due to far-right conservatives ‘hi-jacking’ the American government.

“I think all of this is in response to the hijacking of contemporary American government by the far conservative right at the behest of large-scale anti-American corporate interests,” Sim shared. “I know that sounds almost conspiratorial, but I don’t think that we would be having this conversation… if we hadn’t had to face such an overwhelming attack on those values. I think we would have continued to kind of putz along at way too slow a rate of change, and instead the extreme anti-American-values right has, I think, pushed a whole bunch of people into action.”

The 39-year-old lawmaker also points to the diversity of the Democratic Party as the key to the future of politics saying, “Where I’ve seen the Democratic Party get better is when they were pushed there and pulled there by young people, by Black Lives Matter, by Latino Victory, by the Victory Fund, by HRC.”

(h/t The Advocate)

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