I’m a proud and lifelong Richmonder.

My early life was defined by growing up with three strong women: my mom, who raised me despite the challenges of being a single mother; my grandma, raised a tenant farmer in Southside Virginia, who taught me to look for the best in people; and my little sister, whom I admire deeply for working to support herself through college.

While getting an education through Virginia’s public schools, I worked as a church organist and an independent bookstore clerk, learning firsthand how small businesses take root and strive to compete. At the same time, coming to terms with being gay taught me how much we need love and tolerance for all kinds of people, and after many years of soul-searching I’m happy to be out and proud. I was fortunate enough to enter Yale University as part of only the second generation in my family to go to college.

I've always followed politics: I grew up reading the ­Times-Dispatch with my grandma over breakfast. Participating in civil society is one of our most precious rights as Americans, so I’ve volunteered on many campaigns, been active in debating and public speaking, and worked as a legislative researcher. After the 2016 elections, I felt even more motivated to get involved.

But it wasn’t until last winter that I began to explore running for office. A series of crises hit me and my family at once: among other things, a cousin of mine died because insurance wouldn’t cover the treatment he desperately needed. I resolved to do whatever it takes to bring about the changes that Virginian families need, and I hope to take a fresh perspective to a General Assembly that has grown out of touch and beholden to interests other than the people's.

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