Get us in your inbox

Ritchie Torres
Photograph: Shutterstock

Ritchie Torres is elected as America's first openly gay Afro-Latino man in Congress

The 32-year-old will replace Congressman José Serrano.

Shaye Weaver
Written by
Shaye Weaver

Bronx residents elected the first openly gay Afro-Latino man to Congress on Tuesday night.

Councilman Ritchie Torres, who has represented the 15th City Council District for about six years, took the win for the 15th Congressional District in the South Bronx with more than 136,000 votes, replacing Congressman José Serrano.

Torres, 32, was only 25 when he became a councilman in NYC and has since been breaking barriers—he's been one of the few politicians to speak out about mental health, especially in the LGTBQ community—and is known for tackling legislation to improve the lives of those in NYCHA housing and working to improve relations between the NYPD and New Yorkers.

There are currently nine openly LGBTQ members of Congress—Rep. Mark Takano became the first openly gay person of color in Congress in 2012 and Rep. Sharice Davids is the first openly gay woman of color in Congress since 2018, according to Buzzfeed News.

In a statement, Annise Parker, the President of Victory Fund, said The Bronx showed up for the LGBTQ community.

"Most would have thought New York City’s first LGBTQ member of Congress would be from Chelsea or Greenwich Village or Hell’s Kitchen, but the Bronx beat them to it," she said in a statement to Them. "As our nation attempts to tackle systemic racism, police reform and healthcare disparities, Ritchie’s lived experience as an out LGBTQ Afro-Latinx man will bring an essential perspective to Capitol Hill."

On Tuesday night, Torres said a new era has begun for the South Bronx.

"It is the honor of a lifetime to represent a borough filled with essential workers who have risked their lives so that New York City could live," he said. "The Bronx is essential, and the vibrant, loving and talented people who live here have shown time and again their power, fortune and perseverance. The Bronx is the heartbeat of New York City."

He shed a tear on Tuesday night when talking about being able to represent The Bronx, its essential workers and its mothers:

Most popular on Time Out

- A massive mural featuring 20,000 of Trump’s lies has been installed in Soho
- Spend all election day with Broadway stars in this 10-hour marathon
- Here’s how to track your mail-in ballot this year in NYC
- NYC's most iconic stores are boarding up ahead of election day
- The 101 best sex scenes of all time

Want to know what’s cool in the city before your friends do? Sign up to our newsletter for the latest and greatest from NYC and beyond.

Popular on Time Out

    You may also like
    You may also like