Toni Atkins Will Be California’s First Lesbian Senate Leader

We are so excited to witness this moment in LGBTQ history.

California is about to have its first ever woman and LGBT senate president. Tomorrow, Toni Atkins will be taking over the lead role from fellow Democrat Kevin de Leon. Atkins told the Associated Press, “I think you’re going to see my focus will be internally so you’re not going to get any big pronouncements.”

You might have heard of this extraordinary woman before: Atkins is behind the historic bill that legally recognized non-binary people on official documents in California. The non-binary option on California licenses is set come into effect in 2019. In addition to “F” and “M” citizens will be able to select “X” on the gender section of their licenses.

Atkins has advanced other legislation on health care, LGBT rights and more. Senator Scott Weiner, a San Francisco Democrat, says that “when people first interact with Toni, what they see is a very unassuming, low-key person who has a bit of an earth mother affect about her. People sometimes mistake that for weakness. But what they don’t see is right underneath that surface is pure steel. She is tough as nails. But she has a huge heart.”

Last year, Atkins worked to push to raise money for subsidized housing. She also co-authored a bill that would replace traditional health insurance companies with a government-funded health care plan for everyone in California. Her kind and compassionate heart combined with her unrelenting commitment to the community is what makes Atkins a successful politician. Before she was set to become the first lesbian Senate president, she was the first openly gay woman to serve as a speaker in the Assembly.

We wish Toni Atkins the best and are so excited to witness this moment in LGBTQ history!