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Editor's Introduction

Schlittler conceived the project early in 1998 and secured a list from the Victory Fund of all openly gay, lesbian, or bisexual people they had record of who had been elected to public office. From April 1998 through November 2004 he used travel opportunities provided by work or vacation time to meet with and photograph many of those on the list, and others. He photographed them in their homes, workplaces and communities, and gathered personal essays and conducted interviews with many of them. In some instances, he provides the text of speeches by the officials or news articles about them to add depth and scope to the project. This exhibit showcases Schlittler's remarkable historical work, and provides information on 107 elected officials, as well as José Sarria, the first openly gay person to run for public office, though he did not win.