This Latino Libertarian wants to make history as America’s first-ever intersex lawmaker
A 25-year-old Houston native called Pete Salas is the first openly intersex candidate to run for a Texas house seat.
Salas, who identifies as an intersex-bodied trans man, will be challenging a white Republican called Sam Harless, whose wife previously represented the district for a decade, on a platform seeking to decriminalise sex work and tackle nuclear power.
Latino and Libertarian, Salas is a Houston native with Mexican parents who wants to represent his community in the statehouse – and he’s the first intersex candidate on record to run.
“I haven’t faced any backlash yet,” Salas told local LGBT+ publication Outsmart Magazine. “Once people talk to me and hear my ideas, they look past what I am.”
His political platform includes decriminalising sex work and cannabis, addressing homelessness, reducing fossil-fuel dependence, lowering property taxes and making local roads safer.
Road safety is an issue close to Salas, as he was involved in a highway crash earlier this year that left him with severe head and neck injuries that he is still recovering from.
“I’ve always been very vocal and outspoken,” he says. “I was interested in civil rights and politics from an early age. [After studying] all the parties, two years ago I joined the Libertarian Party. I like the platform—nonaggression, being autonomous, and having more freedom.”
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Salas said that the Libertarian Party is supportive of his campaign, but with the election still more than a year away, it’s still very much a volunteer-led, online effort.
“It will definitely be a grassroots campaign,” Salas said. “I think it’s important to get out and talk to constituents and listen to them. They may actually have a solution to a problem you haven’t thought of.
“I live in the southern part of our district; we don’t get a lot of attention. We don’t have public services; we have to contract for trash pickup. We have a lot of empty commercial buildings in the area, and flooding and drainage problems. We need to slow down deforestation and overdevelopment.”
Having been racially profiled, Salas also wants to combat the US’s immigration policy.
“We have a militarised ICE and Border Patrol that terrorises people who are mainly here because [the U.S. has] destabilised their countries,” he said.
“Today, we are seeing the ineptitude of both our government and private institutions,” he states on his campaign website. “It’s time to change this, and the only way to do it is by bringing together our community and become family. This campaign is to shift the power back to the people—to listen to their ideas, experiences, and opinions. The time is now.”