Today, April 8 marks the birthday of The Honorable Nevada State Senator Kelvin Atkinson.
Since his public coming out (as a Black gay man) in 2013, I have followed his servitude to his constituents in Nevada and for the rights of same-gender-loving people. I am glad that he has been a supporter of The G-List Society since this platform was one of the few who welcomed him with arms wide open as a Black gay trailblazer.
Atkinson is a man of the community. You need not to be a resident of Nevada to see the work that he does for his constituency if you follow him on social media as I have. Recently, the Senator has shared on his social media account of his happiness about the gathering of his friends and members of the community in helping him canvass the streets of Las Vegas in getting people aware and involved in the initiatives he fights for to keep his home city thriving.
What I love most about Senator Atkinson is his less-than-stuffy swagger as a politician. He is one of few politicians I have seen who shares moments chumming it up with the everyday people in his life as well as he colleagues in politics. I admire that kind of well-rounded people.
Get to know more about this great Black gay leader as you read these 12 intriguing things to learn about the Honorable U.S. Senator Kelvin Atkinson.
- Atkinson is a Democratic member of the Nevada Senate, representing District 4.
- Senator Atkinson previously served in the Nevada Assembly, representing Clark County District 17 from 2002 to 2012 and has championed education, job creation, and senior healthcare.
- Senator Atkinson currently serves on the Commerce, Labor and Energy Committee, Government Affairs Committee, and is a member of the Legislative Operations, Elections and Procedures Committee.
- Senator Atkinson was born in Chicago, IL as one in eleven siblings.
- Senator Atkinson grew up between Chicago and Los Angeles.
- Senator Atkinson was a track star in high school.
- Senator Atkinson pursued his higher education dreams at Howard University but had to put his education on hold to look after his family after his father was murdered in Los Angeles. He later moved and settled in Nevada with his family and finished his education at UNLV (University of Nevada at Las Vegas).
- Senator Atkinson became a graduate of the Clark County Leadership Forum, the Western Legislative Academy, and the Henry Toll Fellowship.
- After college, Senator Atkinson became a father to his only daughter during an engagement he ended once he came to terms with his same-sex attraction.
- On April 22, 2013, during a debate on repealing Nevada’s gay marriage ban, Senator Atkinson announced on the Senate floor that: “I’m Black. I’m gay.” It was the first time he had publicly identified as gay. Atkinson’s declaration has been etched a historic moment for legalizing same-sex marriages in Nevada and eventually in America.
- Senator Atkinson and his husband, Sherwood (Howard) Atkinson, were the first same-sex couple to marry in Nevada, which occurred on October 9, 2014.
- Senator Atkinson is a Nicki Minaj fan. I’m not sure if he is a Ken-Barb, but the Senator smiled with friends at the Pink Carpet during the rap star’s tour stop in Las Vegas.
Of course, there is so much more to learn about this Black gay leader. He is a man of community – both in his district and in the Black LGBTQ community. Follow his journey on his social media.