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Emma Curtis reflects on how Gen Z, LGBTQ+ people approach political organizing

 A blonde woman with glasses smiles at the camera. She wears a pink cardigan open over a white button down shirt. She stands in front of green grass and trees.
Emma Curtis
Emma Curtis calls herself a “pragmatic progressive” who wants to build bridges with Republican legislators.

Emma Curtis is the new president of the Fayette County Young Democrats. She said she's the first openly transgender person to hold the position.

Curtis, 26, is part of the crop of young LGBTQ-plus candidates venturing into state and local politics. She said what conservatives call culture war issues are actually issues of civil rights that will be felt by future generations.

“Our futures are being decided by people who will not likely live to see the consequences of their actions,” she said.

Curtis also ran in the Democratic primary for a Lexington House District seat in June. Adrienne Camuel won the nomination.

LGBTQ+ people don’t always get to weigh in on issues like gender-affirming health care and transgender rights, Curtis said.

“No matter how supportive an elected cisgender legislator might be of trans rights, the reality is that hearing them speak on that is very different from hearing a trans person speak on that,” she said.

Curtis said she considers herself a pragmatic progressive and hopes more young people will get involved in political organizing.

Divya is LPM's Race & Equity Reporter. Email Divya at dkarthikeyan@lpm.org.