First openly gay Afro-Latino congressman Ritchie Torres says the ‘old boys’ club’ style of politics has ‘collapsed’ with 2020 election
Ritchie Torres, the first openly gay Afro-Latino congressman, has said the “old boys’ club” style of politics has “collapsed” with the 2020 election.
The November election saw Donald Trump finally given his marching orders, with Joe Biden set to become the next president of the United States in January – but there were also a number of other high-profile victories for LGBT+ politicians and people of colour.
Mondaire Jones and Torres triumphed in New York, becoming the first Black and Afro-Latino members of Congress who identify as LGBT+.
Ritchie Torres said American people had finally embraced ‘a multiracial, multiethnic, inclusive democracy’ with the 2020 election.
Speaking to Reuters, Ritchie Torres said: “We’re witnessing the collapse of politics as an old boys’ club, and we’re witnessing the embrace of America as a multiracial, multiethnic, inclusive democracy.”
The 32-year-old Democrat also said that he was “a poor kid from the Bronx” and that he never imagined in his “wildest dreams” that he would become a congressman.
“LGBTQ people of colour are about to have a seat in one of the most powerful tables,” he said.
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“A wise person once said, ‘If you don’t have a seat at the table, then you’re probably on the menu.'”
He added: “I hope to be an inspirational example of what is possible in America. But in the end, I’m going to be judged not by who I am but by what I accomplish. So my identity matters in the short run, but in the long run, what matters is the record that I build in Congress.”
We’re witnessing the collapse of politics as an old boys’ club, and we’re witnessing the embrace of America as a multiracial, multiethnic, inclusive democracy.
Ritchie Torres claimed a comfortable victory in his race following the November 3 election.
Speaking after the race was called, Torres said: “Tonight, a new era begins for the South Bronx. It is the honour of a lifetime to represent a borough filled with essential workers who risked their lives so that New York City could live.”
He added: “My pledge to the district is simple: I will fight for you. The Bronx is my home, it is what made me who I am, and it is what I will fight for in Congress. I thank the voters of the South Bronx from the bottom of my heart for the trust they put in me to represent them.”
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