We’re ready to announce the winners of the 2021 Tammy Baldwin Breakthrough Award and the 2021 Global Trailblazer Award: congratulations to Maine Speaker of the House Ryan Fecteau and Guatemalan Congressman Aldo Dávila!
Both recipients will receive the honor and award at the International LGBTQ Leaders Conference from December 1 -4! Learn more about this year’s Conference and register here.
The Tammy Baldwin Breakthrough Award is given to a rising star in U.S. politics who has spent their career fighting for LGBTQ equality. And the Global Trailblazer Award honors the service and perseverance of an international LGBTQ elected official who champions equality on the global stage.
First elected to the Maine House of Representatives in 2014 when he was only 21, Speaker Ryan Fecteau is now the first out LGBTQ speaker of the Maine House and the youngest presiding officer in America. A longtime advocate for pro-equality legislation, Speaker Fecteau successfully banned conversion therapy in the state. His other legislative priorities include expanding affordable housing options, championing career and technical education opportunities, and pushing for solutions to Maine’s childcare challenges. He recently shared his own coming out story in the Bangor Daily News.
Guatemalan Congressman Aldo Dávila was first elected in 2019, making history as the first out gay man and first HIV-positive person elected to the body. During his time in office, he stood up to the nation’s health ministry, insisting COVID-19 prevention campaigns include outreach to indigenous populations and others living without internet access. He’s also been one of the most high-profile champions of LGBTQ equality in the country. In response to his advocacy, Congressman Dávila is a target for anti-LGBTQ Congresspeople, and was the victim of a robbery attempt and multiple death threats. Prior to serving in the legislature, he was the executive director of a Guatemala City-based HIV and AIDS service organization and is a former Victory Institute trainee.
Past recipients of the Tammy Baldwin Breakthrough Award include Virginia Delegate Danica Roem, Florida state Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith, North Carolina state Representative Deb Butler and Peruvian Congressman Alberto de Beláunde. The inaugural winner of the Global Trailblazer Award, first awarded in 2020, was Mexican Congressman Ana Lucía Riojas Martínez.
Nominees for this year’s award – also chosen by Victory Institute supporters – included California State Senator Scott Wiener, North Carolina State Representative Vernetta Alston, Arizona State Representative Daniel Hernández, President of the Erie (PA) School Board Tyler Titus and Milwaukee Common Councilmember Jocasta Zamarripa.
The International LGBTQ Leaders Conference – which will be virtually and in-person this year – attracts more than 550 LGBTQ elected and appointed officials, advocates and community members each year. It is the largest annual gathering of LGBTQ elected officials in the world.