Meet Connecticut’s First Lesbian Kid Governor

At just 11 years, Ella Briggs is already a local legend.

The state of Connecticut has elected its first-ever openly gay “Kid Governor,” and she’s using her platform to lead with love.

Eleven-year-old Ella Briggs, a fifth grader at Avon’s Ana Grace Academy of the Arts Elementary Magnet School, was officially “sworn in” to her new position on January 18. She was elected by 6,400 fellow fifth graders from 87 schools in the statewide youth civics program and ran on a platform of LGBTQ acceptance, something older queer people in Connecticut say wouldn’t have been possible not too long ago.

Things weren’t always easy for Briggs, though. According to the Connecticut Post, the middle schooler was forced to transfer from her previous elementary school after she was taunted and harassed by homophobic classmates and their parents.
 

“I think they were just scared of me,” Briggs told the Post, describing classmates who moved their seats away from her in the fourth grade. “They were afraid to touch me.”

Lucky for Briggs, her family stands behind her fully: Briggs’s 13-year-old big sister, Riley, and their parents, Chris and Kendra Briggs, have supported her in exploring her sexuality and gender presentation since the very beginning.

As Kid Governor, Briggs has pledged to her start gay-straight alliances at local elementary, middle, and high schools; raise awareness about homelessness and foster care for rejected LGBTQ youth; and help educators learn to be more queer-inclusive.

“A lot of kids don’t really feel comfortable with who they are,” the fifth grader told Connecticut Public Radio. “I just want everyone to be happy and be themselves, and I just want to share that with the kids who need it most.”

#Ella2020, anyone?

Brooklyn-based writer and editor. Probably drinking iced coffee or getting tattooed.
@_sammanzella