When Sharice Davids first splashed onto the national political scene, it was in a slickly produced campaign video that introduced her to Kansas voters as a steely-nerved mixed martial arts fighter: “This is a tough place to be a woman.”
Trailblazing women candidates like Davids helped turn 2018 into the year of the woman — and powered the Rainbow Wave.
Davids is the first openly gay native American woman elected to Congress, and the first LGBTQ person Kansas has ever elected to federal office.
Davids is a member of the Wisconsin-based Ho-Chunk Nation and has lived and worked on Native American reservations. A resident of the Kansas City area, she attended Johnson County Community College and Cornell Law School before serving as a White House fellow during the end of the Obama administration.
“I remember religiously watching Ellen DeGeneres’ show when I was growing up,” Davids told NBC News. “When Ellen came out on national television, it was the first time I’d ever seen an LGBT woman represented in such a prominent way.”
Davids says that for her, “The Stonewall uprising was a day when brave individuals took to the streets to fight back against harassment and hate, and by doing so, helped to push the long history of LGBTQ activism into a nationwide movement.”
And for Davids, an out lesbian, pride means “celebrating and supporting the full spectrum of LGBTQ and two-spirit community, while also reaffirming our commitment to the fight for equality.”