Michael was the first openly LGBTQ person elected in Southwest Virginia
Two-term Blacksburg Town Council member Michael Sutphin was first elected in 2011 and is seeking re-election this November. He is the youngest person to be elected to the Blacksburg Town Council and was the first openly LGBT elected official in Southwest Virginia.
Like many others, Michael came to Blacksburg to attend Virginia Tech and decided to stay in town after graduation. In college, he worked as a news editor and reporter for the student newspaper, The Collegiate Times, and even covered the local government beat. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in communication in 2006, he landed a job with the university, where he worked for 11 years. In 2017, Michael accepted a position for an affordable housing nonprofit in nearby Christiansburg, Virginia.
Michael represents the town on several local and regional committees, including the Blacksburg Planning Commission and New River Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization, and is a member of numerous civic and community organizations. He completed the Virginia Certified Planning Commissioner Program in 2019. Michael is also a past chair of Equality Virginia, the state’s leading LGBT advocacy organization.
Born in Knoxville, Tennessee, Michael split his formative years between the suburbs of Asheville, North Carolina and Williamsburg, Virginia.
Importance of Candidacy:
- Michael was the first openly LGBTQ person elected in Southwest Virginia.
- He was the first openly LGBTQ member of the Blacksburg Town Council.
- Michael will continue to be a voice for the LGBTQ community in Blacksburg.