Rufus Gifford, Democratic candidate for Congress in Massachusetts’ 3rd District, recently released a new ad, focused on his life experience as a gay man. The ad was described as “groundbreaking” by LGBT advocates, as it’s a heartfelt testimonial that recounts his journey from childhood struggles to his career in public service.
“Rufus is running to push forward a positive and inclusive agenda for all Massachusetts residents – and this groundbreaking ad demonstrates where his social justice lens originated,” said Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund.
“The struggles and experiences he faced as a gay man provoked an intense desire for fairness and equal treatment of all Americans – and Rufus will take that commitment and fighting spirit with him to Congress. Both Rufus and this campaign ad embody what is sorely missing from much of our politics today: authenticity. We desperately need authentic, values-driven leaders like Rufus to be our voice in the U.S. Congress.”
“Anyone who can look in the face of a gay kid who grew up in the 80’s and tell them that they haven’t struggled a day in their life, is fooling themselves,” Gifford says at the outset of the ad.
“Those struggles are so meaningful to me and they made me who I am.”
He then touches on his decision to enter public service, initially to fight for LGBT rights, but notes it quickly evolved to fight inequality in all its forms.
“[The struggles] made me initially want to fight for the 15-year old version of me,” he said. “I didn’t want to be judged for who I was. And I know I wanted to live in a world that was going to treat me equally. And that’s what I want to fight for, always, every day. We gotta do everything we can to fight for people who are struggling.”
The ad will appear on digital platforms targeting voters throughout the 3rd District through Primary Day, in addition to a 15-second companion ad.
Gifford has been endorsed by the LGBT Equality PAC, the political action committee founded by LGBT members of Congress, and the LGBTQ Victory Fund, the only national organization dedicated to electing openly LGBTQ people.
Gifford has spent much of his career fighting for LGBT rights. He was one of the first openly gay U.S. Ambassadors in history when he was confirmed by the Senate as U.S. Ambassador to Denmark in 2013.
He has worked for pro-LGBT Democratic politicians and organizations around the country and has been an advocate for LGBT causes, including marriage equality. He also was once dubbed President Obama’s informal Ambassador to the gay community and was a key player in securing support from the LGBT community for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns.