Kathleen Wynne helped Canada hit two milestones yesterday when she became the new premier of Ontario. She's both the province's first female premier and the entire Canadian nation's first openly gay premier.
"The province has changed, our party has changed," Wynne, leader of the Ontario Liberal Party, said. "I do not believe that the people of Ontario … hold that prejudice in their hearts."
Here's more from her speech, about the long road she's walked:
Let's put something on the table: Is Ontario ready for a gay premier? You've heard that question.
Let's say what that actually means: Can a gay woman win?
When I ran in 2003, I was told that the people of North Toronto and Thorncliffe Park weren't ready to elect a gay woman.
Well, apparently they were.
You know, there was a time, not that long ago. When most of us in this race would have been deemed unsuitable, A Portuguese-Canadian, an Indo-Canadian, Italian-Canadian, female, gay, Catholic – Most of us could not have hoped to stand on this stage, but this province has changed.
Our party has changed.
I don't believe the people of Ontario judge their leaders on the basis of race, color or sexual orientation – I don't believe they hold that prejudice in their hearts.
They judge us on our merits – On our abilities, on our expertise, on our ideas – Because that is how everyone deserves to be judged. That is how we want our children, our grandchildren, our nieces and nephews to be judged.
So, when it is time for me to take us into the next general election, I will do it on the basis of our merits, based on our success.
Wynne is more than a politician who overcame homophobia to win her position. She's also a mother of three, speaks four languages, holds two master's, one in linguistics and the other in adult education, and also studied meditation at Harvard, which sounds like something every politicians, gay or straight, should do…
Watch Wynne's speech, AFTER THE JUMP…