Adrian Tam Defeats Proud Boy Opponent to Become Hawaii’s First Out Legislator

By N. Jamiyla Chisholm Nov 12, 2020

Twenty-eight-year-old Adrian Tam broke new ground when he was elected as Hawaii’s only openly LGBTQ+ state legislature on November 4 and he did so in a decisive win against a Proud Boy leader of the Hawaii chapter, news outlets, such as NBC News reported.


Tam, who is a first-generation Asian American of immigrant parents from Hong Kong and Taiwan, ran against Nicholas Ochs on issues around education, the environment, homelessness and elder care, and took home 63 percent of the votes. For many Hawaiians, it seemed that Ochs was too divisive. The Democratic Party of Hawaii reportedly admonished Ochs in the past for making offensive social media posts about the Black, Jewish, and LGBTQ+ people and Facebook went so far so to delete his campaign page, KITV reported in September.

"This isn’t a political issue, this is a moral issue, this is about what we as a community stand for and we as welcoming people of Hawaii believe in," Tyler Dos Santos-Tam, chair of the Hawaii Democratic Party, told KITV.

As for Tam, his Twitter page shows him progressing through his freshman duties since he won the election. Earlier this week, he reportedly told NBC Asian America, “It feels really good to know that someone who is openly LGBT can win. There was a time when people like me could not win. I’m glad that I can bring that representation to the capital.”

With Tam’s win, only three states—Alaska, Louisiana and Mississippi—have never elected an LGBTQ+ person to the legislature, according to the Associated Press. According to the LGBTQ Victory Institute, which advocates for LGBTQ+ candidates for office, the nation has more than 800 openly LGTBQ+ people in office.