Congratulations, Adrian Tam!
There’s another new Hawaiian politician on LGBTQ Twitter’s radar. While Kai Kahele is making headlines for being Daddy AF and being voted into Congress, Adrian Tam is making strides by being openly gay and for beating a Proud Boy.
According to the Daily Best, Adrian Tam just beat Nick Ochs, the leader of the Hawaii chapter of the far-right group the Proud Boys. Tam has unseated Ochs for District 22, which covers Waikiki, Ala Moana, and Kakaako on Oahu, in the Hawaii House of Representatives. He won the position with 63 percent of the vote.
“As a first-time candidate, like many first-time candidates, there may have been a little anxiety going into it,” Tam admitted to the Daily Beast. “I am just grateful that we won, the anxiety is lifted. Now the hard work begins today.”
Like Kahele, Tam’s campaign was primarily based on creating a better response to the coronavirus pandemic. Though according to ABC’s Hawaiian affiliate KITV4, Tam also stood on an agenda of tackling Waikiki’s unhoused and unsheltered challenges. To do so, he offered solutions such as implementing a House First model, increasing pay and hiring qualified social workers, investing in mobile clinics and public lockers, allowing doctors to prescribe Medicaid for rent, and improving the safety and cleanliness of Hawaii’s shelters.
We did it. I am grateful for the opportunity granted to me last night by the voters of District 22 to serve our community and our state as their representative. Thank you to all my supporters, volunteers, friends & family, and to the people of District 22. pic.twitter.com/IWHLvtcmCI
— Adrian Tam (@adrianktam) November 4, 2020
But again, Tam is also the only out LGBTQ member of Hawaii’s state legislature. That’s not only something he’s aware of, but it’s something he’s proud of.
“It feels great,” said Tam. “I always say representation matters. I am glad that I can bring that perspective to the legislature when it comes to making decisions. I always say a legislature should reflect what a state looks like. I am glad to be the only one, but I hope I am not the last one.”
Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund, released the following statement about Tam’s victory:
“Hawaiians overwhelmingly rejected the politics of hate and finally restored LGBTQ representation to its state legislature. Adrian’s victory is part of a rainbow wave of LGBTQ people of color who won state legislative seats on Election Night and are paving the way for a more diverse and representative government. When there are no LGBTQ elected officials in an entire state, it has consequences, both in policy and how young LGBTQ people view themselves. Adrian will ensure LGBTQ people are considered and prioritized in the state capitol and will inspire more LGBTQ people to run and serve.”
Congratulations to Adrian Tam, we hope your term is successful and fruitful!