Pennsylvania Rep. Brian Sims, the only out lawmaker in the statehouse, said that he serves alongside more than a dozen closeted lawmakers, many of whom co-sponsored anti-LGBT bills.
Said Sims to The Advocate: “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 also said that the wave of newly elected LGBT politicians would not have happened without the extreme conservative leadership in place now: “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. 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.