Republicans are launching all-out attacks on LGBTQ+ youth and adults. As Daily Kos has continued to cover, we’re seeing discriminatory anti-trans bills catch major speed across the nation, especially when it comes to denying people access to sports, bathrooms, and even life-saving gender-affirming health care. Conservatives are even attacking books by and about LGBTQ+ folks (as well as people of color and especially writers who live in both identities) in an effort to stomp out access to queer identities and histories via reading. Put simply: This is very bad.
There’s always a lot to celebrate when openly queer people do win elections, whether it’s big or small. But getting elected isn’t the end of the road. And on the one hand, it shouldn’t be; we elect people to represent our needs and our interests, and no one should slow down their work just because they’ve won the race. But when it comes to openly queer folks holding office, it’s not just about working hard and serving constituents. It’s also, sadly, about facing discrimination and even threats against their safety.
One recent example comes to us from Oklahoma, where the openly gay mayor of The Village, Adam Graham, shared he has resigned from his positions as council member and mayor due to harassment and safety concerns. Graham has served on the city council since 2019 and was only recently elected mayor on May 2, as reported by The Oklahoman.
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Graham shared his resignation statement via Twitter on Monday, writing in part that it’s been his “privilege” to “break boundaries” but that he no longer feels “safe” serving in this capacity. He went on to say in the last month alone, he’s been “followed home from meetings” and “threatened” while walking his dog. He said he’s been “harassed” at Starbucks. He even alleged his tires have been slashed.
"Unfortunately, these malicious, bad-faith attacks are escalating,” Graham wrote. “And I no longer feel safe to serve in my capacity as mayor. It’s with a heavy heart that I tender my resignation effective immediately."
You can check out his statement below.
In his statement, Graham alleges some of the harassment stems from interactions with Nichols Hills Police in late May 2022. Graham says he “stood up” to police who were targeting folks who live in The Village and that he will never “apologize” for standing up for his constituents.
“I will never understand why some officials are more concerned with representing the interests of Nichols Hills than the interests of their constituents,” he added.
According to LGBTQ Nation, Nichols Hills officer Brandon Edwards has claimed Graham arrived on the scene soon after officers stopped a speeding car inside the city limits of The Village; Edwards says Graham “yelled” at them about how they weren’t allowed to stop people in The Village city limits. In a report, Edwards argued Graham’s presence riled the already uncooperative driver up more.