State of Oregon Acting Governor Kate Brown has been elected as Governor of the state, making her the first openly bisexual governor to be elected in the United States.
Brown has served in the state’s highest office since last year, when the state’s previous governor John Kitzhaber resigned amid accusations of ethics violations. She was secretary of state at the time; as Oregon does not have a lieutenant governor, she was first in the line of succession.
“Now, she’ll serve the remaining two years of the four-year term Kitzhaber won during the 2014 election,” Oregon Public Broadcasting reports.
Months after assuming office, Brown led her state through the tragic mass shooting at a community college in Roseburg.
Brown has been out since the early 1990s, when a newspaper wrote that she was bisexual. She had been in a relationship with a woman in the 1980s.
Brown was not the first LGBT person to serve as a governor — former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey came out as gay in 2004 and resigned months later.
Brown, who has been married to her husband since 1997, said she hopes to be a positive role model to other bisexual people “You can’t be what you can’t see,” she said. “If I can be a role model for one young person that decides that their life is worth living because there’s someone like them in the world, it’s worth it,” she added.