It was a historic election on many fronts Tuesday night, including the election of the first three MLAs who are believed to be openly gay.
Both Ricardo Miranda, who represents Calgary-Cross, and Michael Connolly, who is the MLA for Calgary-Hawkwood, are the first gay candidates to be elected in Calgary and in Alberta.
Miranda said in an interview on Wednesday that his sexual orientation was never a problem for him on the campaign trail.
“It speaks to the province that we’re living in,” Miranda said. “It’s so progressive, and it’s very forward-thinking, and I don’t think we get enough credit for that.”
Connolly took to Twitter Wednesday morning, and said in a tweet, “Proud to be 1 of 3 of the first openly LGBTQ+ MLAs to be elected, and 1 of 2 of the first openly LGBTQ+ people to ever be elected in Calgary.”
Kris Wells, Director of Programs and Services at the University of Alberta’s Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services, says it is important for our legislature to represent all Albertans.
“It’s no surprise that these are now members of the NDP party, that has long talked about the value of inclusiveness and diverse representation,” Wells said. “We’re seeing that live out now as they form the governing party.”
The NDP party also features representatives from a range of professions and ages and is made up of almost 50 per cent women.