An LGBTQ activist has shared a touching story detailing his fight for decency in Kansas after last week’s midterms saw the historic election of the first openly gay person to represent the state in Congress.
Davis Hammet, 27, first moved to the Sunflower State in 2013 to protest against the notorious Westboro Baptist Church.
Working with Planting Peace, a non-profit organization, Hammet helped launch Equality House, a property situated directly across from the church’s compound that was proudly painted in the colors of the rainbow flag.
However, what was supposed to be a short stay of only a few months quickly turned into a years-long battle to help restore LGBTQ rights in the state.
In a Facebook post that went viral over the weekend, Hammet describes coming to the realization that the state’s politicians were “more dangerous than the hate group; however, the people seem nothing like the politics that dominate.”
He details the election of “the most extreme right-wing one-sided government” in Kansas history, led by former Gov. Sam Brownback (R) who oversaw sweeping changes to “LGBTQ protections by executive order making it legal to fire and harass LGBTQ state workers.”
Leaving LGBTQ activism in 2016 to devote himself “completely to voter registration and turnout,” Hammet said that he was convinced that “if more young Kansans voted things would be different.”
In 2017, one-third of the deep-red state’s legislature is “newly elected as a rebuke to Brownback,” it “starts to turn things around and activism is growing. The Brownback Experiment is repealed ... Some random lady messages me saying she wants to talk about the future of Kansas. She’s pretty great.”
That “random lady,” Sharice Davids, went on to be elected as the first LGBTQ congressperson from Kansas last week. She is also one of the first two Native American women elected to Congress.
“She gives a victory speech surrounded by LGBTQ youth. I’m overwhelmed thinking back to how most of my life I thought accepting my sexuality meant forfeiting my future,” Hammet wrote. “The same night Brandon Woodard and Susan Ruiz are elected the first LGBTQ Kansas State Representatives.”
Democratic state Senator Laura Kelly, “who softly spoke words of solidarity” to Hammet in 2015 when she told him “how wrong the attacks on the LGBTQ community” were, wins the Kansas governor’s race, defeating one of President Donald Trump’s key allies.
“Nothing. Nothing. Nothing happens by accident,” Hammet concluded. “Every drop of decency is fought for.”