Nevada lawmaker comes out as pansexual in powerful floor speech

On the left: Sarah Peters, wearing a face mask, delivery a speech in the Assembly. On the right: A headshot of Sarah Peters
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Sarah Peters, a member of the Nevada State Legislature, comes out as pan on the Assembly floor. (Screen capture via Twitter/Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

A Nevada lawmaker proudly came out as pansexual on the Assembly floor in a powerful speech Thursday (25 March) that celebrated the state’s triumphs in LGBT+ rights.

Assemblymember Sarah Peters spoke during LGBT+ Health Awareness Week as she reflected on the seismic leaps the state has made in queer rights.

The district 24 representative, which covers part of Washoe County, said: “In the past decade has made unprecedented progress in making a more equitable home for our LGBT and queer community.”

Peters recalled how the state has sought to ground LGBT+ rights in its constitution, yet noted how “LGBT+ people continue to encounter barriers and discrimination […] in daily life”, a reality that deeply negatively impacts queer people’s health.

As she applauded health officials and decision-makers in working to figure out how the pandemic has pelted the queer community, she stated: “Today, as a pansexual, cisgender woman, I stand out for equity and remind us to be inclusive in our LGBT+ community as we work to make Nevada a more equitable place.”

Pansexual assembly member: ‘Being celebrated for my queerness is weird’

After a video feed of Peters’ speech was shared on social media, the environmental engineer received an outpour of love and support from her followers.

“Being celebrated for my queerness is weird,” she admitted in a tweet.

“Being bisexual and pansexual comes with so much guilt and questioning. Am I queer enough? Am I gay enough?

“What if I end up heteronormative, am I straight? Y’all, we are all enough and worth celebrating!”

Silver State Equality, an LGBT+ advocacy group, commended Peters on coming out in a press release.

“Coming out is a personal journey for everyone,” said the group’s director, André Wade.

“We are so happy for assemblywoman Peters as she takes this courageous step and shares her identity with her colleagues and the world.

“In doing so, she’s sending a message to LGBT+ people everywhere — especially LGBT+ young people — that pansexual people belong everywhere, including in the Nevada Legislature.

“Silver State Equality is proud to join assemblywoman Peters’s colleagues in wishing her joy and happiness today, and we look forward to working together to create a world that is healthy, just and fully equal for all LGBTQ+ people.”

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