C.J. Petersen chairs the Iowa Democratic Party’s Stonewall Caucus.
When my husband and I walk into a restaurant in rural Iowa and sit down, nobody assumes there’s something going on between us. I’m a heavyset, cisgender white guy with a beard. More than once, people have assumed we were brothers or–to my chagrin–that I was his father (only six years separate us, by the way, but at 32, I’m blessed by genetics with salt-and-pepper hair).
Because of this dynamic, I know that I enjoy an immense amount of privilege to be able to live authentically and thrive in rural western Iowa. I know this, too, from listening to the experiences of Black, brown, transgender, and non-binary folks, who tell me how they fear for their safety when they visit my part of Iowa (we’re not yet two years removed from having been represented by Steve King). Their experiences are valid, and none of us is safe while any of our lives are threatened.
As chair of the Iowa Democratic Party’s Stonewall Caucus, a constituency group of LGBTQ+ folks who guide the party’s positions on issues that affect our community, my job is to elect Democrats–specifically, Democrats who support LGBTQ+ people and act as allies in our continued fight for equality and justice.Continue Reading...