Activist Davis Hammet’s Facebook post about LGBT+ rights has gone viral.
Hammet moved to Kansas in 2013, when he first reached viral acclaim for painting a rainbow-coloured Equality House across from the notorious Westboro Church, a hate group who often say vile things about gay people, Jewish people and soldiers.
He was just 22 years old when he made the move to Kansas, and, when he completed the house, he decided to stay.
He recalls that in 2014, “the most extreme right-wing one-sided government in KS history is elected” with Sam Brownback as governor of Kansas.
Brownback rescinds LGBTQ protections by executive order making it legal to fire and harass LGBTQ state workers. The KS government increasingly uses prejudice and scapegoating to distract from their failing economic experiment. In response, we organize the largest protest in many years. I get messages from gay state workers who are scared for their safety and future. Kansas is a very dark place in this moment... A Senator walks by me in the Statehouse and softly mentions how wrong the attacks on the LGBTQ community are.
It was a dark time.
In response to his policies, Hammet campaigns hard and, in 2017, one third of KS legislature is “newly elected as a rebuke to Brownback".
A "random lady" had approached him and asked him if they could talk about LGBT+ rights. A year later she was elected to congress.
That random lady, Sharice Davids, is elected the first LGBTQ Congressperson from Kansas. She gives a victory speech surrounded by LGBTQ youth. I’m overwhelmed thinking back to how most my life I thought accepting my sexuality meant forfeiting my future. The same night Brandon Woodard and Susan Ruiz are elected the first LGBTQ Kansas State Representatives.
2019: The Senator who softly spoke words of solidarity to me in 2015, Laura Kelly, is the Governor and her first executive order is restoring LGBTQ protections to state workers.