Sunday, April 21, 2024
LGBTQ+ Rights

LGBTQ trailblazers receive top honors

Pennsylvania Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta to receive 2020 Tammy Baldwin Breakthrough Award and Mexican Congresswoman Ana Lucía Riojas to receive 2020 Global Trailblazer Award.

LGBTQ Victory Institute has announced that Pennsylvania state Representative Malcolm Kenyatta will receive its 2020 Tammy Baldwin Breakthrough Award and Mexican Congresswoman Ana Lucía Riojas will receive its inaugural Global Trailblazer Award. Both recipients will receive the honor and award at the virtual International LGBTQ Leaders Conference held this December 3 – 5.

Senator Tammy Baldwin will present the Breakthrough Award

The Tammy Baldwin Breakthrough Award will be presented by Senator Tammy Baldwin on Thursday, December 3 and the Global Trailblazer Award by Peruvian Congressman Alberto de Beláunde on Friday, December 4. Registration for this year’s conference is complimentary

The Tammy Baldwin Breakthrough Award is given annually to an up-and-coming LGBTQ elected official whose promising political career will move equality forward for LGBTQ people, while the Global Trailblazer Award recognizes LGBTQ leaders abroad for their contributions to global equality.

Pennsylvania state Representative Malcolm Kenyatta

First elected in 2018, Pennsylvania state Representative Malcolm Kenyatta is the first out LGBTQ person of color and one of the youngest members elected to the Pennsylvania General Assembly. In the legislature, he champions proposals to address generational poverty, raise the minimum wage, protect workers’ rights, increase access to mental health care and enact common sense measures to address gun violence.

Kenyatta recently made headlines for standing up for voting rights as Pennsylvania Republicans sought to ram through a controversial voter investigation panel that could have intimidated lawful voters and undermined the credibility of the electoral process. During the 2020 presidential election, he served as a high-profile surrogate for Joe Biden’s campaign.

Mexican Congresswoman Ana Lucía Riojas Martínez is a longtime LGBTQ activist who participated in the Yo Soy 132 student movement, which protested police brutality and governmental overreach, and supported better working conditions and the freedom to protest. The movement, which has been called Mexico’s Arab Spring and Occupy Movement, inspired partner protests in over 50 countries. Though Riojas and her partner have been targeted with anti-LGBTQ attacks for her work, she still encourages the LGBTQ community to “go out into the streets, proud of who you are.”

Mexican Congresswoman Ana Lucía Riojas Martínez

Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Institute, released the following statements about Kenyatta and Riojas receiving the awards:

“Malcolm continues to stand out in the Pennsylvania state legislature with his passionate calls for equality both for LGBTQ people and all marginalized communities, making him truly deserving of this award. After four years in office, it is clear Malcolm is inspiring people beyond the state of Pennsylvania, making him one of our community’s rising stars.”

“During the course of her career in Mexican politics, Ana and her loved ones have received death threats and suffered break-ins aimed at silencing her demands for equality. Undeterred by these tactics, she has continued mobilizing and using her platform to call for LGBTQ and women’s rights. We are honored to recognize her bravery with this inaugural award and highlight her leadership in the global fight for equality.”

Kenyatta will receive the award on Thursday, December 3 at 2:30pm ET and Riojas on Friday, December 4 at 1:30pm ET. Register at to watch the awards for free.

The International LGBTQ Leaders Conference – which will be virtual and free to the public this year – attracts more than 550 LGBTQ elected and appointed officials, advocates and community members each year. It is the largest annual gathering of LGBTQ elected officials in the world.    

Queer Forty Staff

Queer Forty writing staff work hard to bring you all the latest articles to help inspire and inform.

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