Carlos is the first openly LGBTQ Latino elected to the Florida House of Representatives
Carlos Guillermo Smith is a politician and LGBTQ activist from Orlando, Florida. Upon his election to the Florida House of Representatives in 2016, Smith became the first openly queer Latinx person to serve in the legislature where he currently serves and is Chair of the Progressive Caucus.
After the 2016 Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting, Smith worked to lift up the voices of the mostly Latinx and LGBTQ victims and affected families. He helped organize vigils in the wake of the tragedy, called for statewide LGBTQ non-discrimination laws and assault weapons bans, and helped Equality Florida raise $9.5 million to be disbursed directly to the victims. For his work, Smith was included in Out Magazine’s annual Out 100 as one of the “Survivors and Heroes of Pulse.”
After the 2018 shooting in Parkland that took the lives of seventeen students and teachers, Carlos again led the charge for gun safety in Florida. He has delivered millions of dollars in state funding to PTSD programs for veterans, first responders and mass shooting survivors; and has used his voice to champion sweeping cannabis reform in his state.
Smith is a notable rising star in LGBTQ politics, having been recognized with several national awards for his intersectional work, including the 2018 AIDSWatch Elizabeth Taylor Legislative Leadership Award and the Victory Institute’s 2017 Tammy Baldwin Breakthrough Award.
Importance of Candidacy:
- Carlos was the first openly LGBTQ Latino elected to the Florida House of Representatives.
- He has been a powerful voice in the movement for gun control.