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LOSANGELESBLADE.COM • MARCH 29, 2019 • 07

LOCAL

State Sen. Scott Wiener, then-Sen. Ricardo Lara, Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur, then-LGBT Legislative Caucus Chair Assemblymember Evan Low, Caucus Vice-Chair Assemblymember Todd Gloria at at 2018 EQCA event in Los Angeles Photo by Karen Ocamb

that? I think back to my time at the University of San Diego—a Catholic institution in the 1990s—weighing my academic success about who it is to be authentically me.” But that turmoil created a deeper sense of humanity and “a level of personal inner strength that I think you want in your civic leaders so that when times are tough, you know that you’re not going to bend,” Gloria says, “that you have an authenticity, a resolve, a strength that will be used for the benefit of the people that you’re elected to serve. But that’s coupled with a level of compassion that allows you to understand and to perhaps walk a bit in the other person’s shoes. So you can credibly say that you may be one person but you may understand the plight and the lived experiences of, in this case, the 1.4 million people who call San Diego home.” Gloria believes people want to know “that you understand a bit about their lives and consider that when you’re doing your decisionmaking. I think that’s a part of the benefit that being LGBTQ has for those of us that are lucky

enough to serve in elected office.” Along with compassion and strength comes a deep sense of responsibility. At the beginning of February, for instance, Gloria, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, and Equality California teamed up to introduce AB 493: the Safe and Supportive Schools Act of 2019 – a bill that would require California schools to provide annual teacher and staff training on how to support LGBTQ students at school and in their local community. “According to the  2017 National School Climate Survey, 82 percent of LGBTQ students reported hearing anti-LGBTQ remarks in their school; approximately 7 in 10 reported being called names or threatened because of their sexual orientation; and more than one-third of students who identify as LGBTQ reported missing at least one day of school because of feeling unsafe,” EQCA reported in their press release introducing AB 493. “The bullying and name calling I

experienced in school as a young gay kid is still a reality for today’s LGBTQ youth. No child should have to experience that. Students should feel safe, accepted, included, and supported in their school,” Gloria said at a news conference at a San Diego high school.  “Equipping educators with resources to better support LGBTQ students will create a safer and more inclusive environment for these students to be successful.” And then there are the most marginalized of the marginalized—LGBTQ kids who wind up in the foster care system. In April 2018, Gloria introduced AB 2119 to demand that the state system connect trans and gender nonconforming youth to gender-affirming care, if and when they ask for it. According to the Williams Institute and other reports, LGBTQ kids are over-represented in the foster care system and are mistreated and abused more than non-LGBTQ kids. On Sept. 14, 2018, Gov. Jerry Brown signed Gloria’s bill. “This is the beginning of a

new and hopeful day for the many foster youth in California. With the signing of this bill, we tell our foster youth that no matter who you are or how you identify, there is a place for you in California,” Gloria said. “We want our future generations to know they have a safe place to grow up and live. At its core, that’s what this bill does -- we empower transgender and gender nonconforming foster youth to live authentically despite their circumstances. I want to thank Governor Brown for signing this bill into law -- an act which I truly believe will save lives.” And it’s that power of compassion, strength and responsibility that Gloria hopes to bring home to San Diego. “I often talk on the campaign trail about this being a mayoral campaign and a hopeful administration that is focused on real people and on real problems,” Gloria says, adding that he carries the voices of LGBT history with him. “Hopefully, I can make our community proud.” For more, visit: http://toddgloria.com/

Profile for Los Angeles Blade

Losangelesblade.com, Volume 3, Issue 13, March 29, 2019  

Losangelesblade.com, Volume 3, Issue 13, March 29, 2019

Losangelesblade.com, Volume 3, Issue 13, March 29, 2019  

Losangelesblade.com, Volume 3, Issue 13, March 29, 2019

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