The Basics: Michael Makoto Honda is a Japanese-American member of the United States Congress that has been serving in that role since 2001. He is the representative for the Silicon Valley, which is the only Asian-American majority district in the country. Mr. Honda has long been a supporter of organized labor and creating a livable wage. Also, he has been a staunch defender of the civil rights of American Muslims and was someone who wasn’t afraid to speak up in their defense right after 9/11. Recently, he announced that he has a trans granddaughter and supported her with pride.
Why I Chose Them: This man is the perfect way to kick off Asian-American Pacific Islander Month. He is proud of his heritage, his culture, and the country he calls home…all at once. It infuriates me when I see things bashing black pride or gay pride or any other marginalized group trying to give themselves power through their oppression. Mike Honda stood out to me because he seems to reject that as well, specifically when telling American Muslims after 9/11 to not change who they are and when he unequivocally supported his trans granddaughter. That is true unconditional love and not the “love the person, hate the sin” baseless rhetoric we often see when applied to groups of people that are considered “undesirable.” Bravo to you Mr. Honda!