Newsy is continuing its series on "Politicians of Pride," where we highlight LGBTQ people holding office.
This election cycle marked a record number of openly LGBTQ people running for public office, with more than 600 candidates on ballots across the country.
This record advancement in LGBTQ representation comes as dozens of states are actively considering a growing list of anti-LGBTQ bills.
More than 300 types of legislation have been proposed across the country this year already. While some states have discrimination protections written into law, there's still no federal law that explicitly protects that community.
One woman who's been at the forefront of the fight for equality is Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin — the first openly LGBTQ person elected to Congress.
"In the old-days people either ran for office and remained in the closet, or just didn't think the electorate would support them," Baldwin said. "Now I've seen the numbers grow from just a couple dozen in the world to really darn close to 1,000 here in the U.S. It is something I feel really makes a difference because I like to say 'If you're not in the room, then the conversation is about you. If you are in the room, then the conversation is with you.'"
Baldwin joined Newsy to also talk about the fight for equality, hate in America, the push to tighten gun restrictions, and other important topics where she hopes to see change.