Is there ointment that treats both the vertigo (for the speed and force by which the gay civil rights cause is being forwarded) and rosacea (for the huge blush of pride) we’ve come down with over the newest member of our LGBT political family: JoCasta Zamarripa, the first Latino in the Wisconsin legislature and its third openly LGBT member?
Zamarripa, who came out in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, discussed both the difficulty she had with disclosing her sexuality and a not-so-unlikely source of inspiration: “When Ellen [DeGeneres] came out, that was when I felt I could write in my journal about it.” But she acknowledges its sometimes harder for the public to reconcile a bisexual identity than a homosexual one. “It’s also more difficult to come out as the “B” in the LGBT acronym,” she said.
Zamarripa wishes she had talked about being bisexual sooner but admits she “didn’t have the valor and courage to come out,” when first running two years ago. In addition to stopping the kind of rumors that surfaced in her 2010 campaign, Zamarripa, 36, says she went public to help young people who are struggling with their orientation. Whether or not that is enough to defeat her primary challenger, Laura Manriquez, on August 14 is a battle of another sort.
But in the contest of firsts, JoCasta Zamarripa has won a decisive victory.