Tonight, we’re wrapping up Pride Month by sharing the story of Minot’s newest City Councilwoman who’s already made history– more than once. Carrie Evans says she plans to use her platform to be an advocate for her community.
Evans says she’s the first openly lesbian elected official in the entire state.
“I reached out to some of our openly gay male elected officials. We have a Fargo City Commissioner, we have a couple of state legislators and being like, ‘Is this true?’ And they’re like, ‘Yeah there is no record of an open lesbian being elected to any public office in the state.’ And I’m like, ‘Wow,'” said Evans.
Evans says she left Minot 30 years ago because she didn’t feel comfortable being a member of the LGBTQ+ community. But, she returned in 2017 and says things are definitely different now.
“This is the Minot I always wanted! I want to be here and to be accepted for that, and it’s part of who I am. Just like I have multiple sclerosis, that’s part of who I am,” Evans said.
Evans says she plans to use her platform to be a voice for the entire Minot community. For instance, advocating for an anti-discrimination law to protect the LGBTQ+ community.
“That’s just not in the workplace, but in places of public accommodations: restaurants, hotels, any place that’s open to the public. Currently, in the city of Minot, I could, for instance, go out for lunch and be denied entry into or kicked out of the restaurant just simply because I was a lesbian,” Evans said.
“Carrie in her position amplifies the message of equality within Minot, and within North Dakota and within the nation itself,” said Jorden Laducer, executive board member, Magic City Equality.
Her push and desire to establish equality for all doesn’t stop there. She also plans to use her battle with MS to make Minot more accessible for those with disabilities.
“I wasn’t able to walk unassisted. I was using a cane and it was difficult. You don’t realize until you need mobility assistance, like a cane or a wheelchair, how inaccessible some parts of Minot are. So it really opened my eyes,” Evans said.
The night she swore into her councilwoman position was one she won’t forget. Minutes after taking her seat, Mayor Shaun Sipma said this…
“I, Shaun Sipma, the mayor of Minot hereby proclaim June 2020 as the LGBTQ Pride month in support of the LGBTQ community,” Sipma said.
“To have the mayor read that proclamation, it was just surreal,” Evans said.
But that was just the beginning.
Later that night, she and Councilwoman Lisa Olson became the council’s first female Vice President-President duo.
Evans wants you at home to know that she’s here for you– no matter your race, sexual orientation or gender.
“Part of being a good elected official is representing everyone, even people you may have disagreements with. At the end of the day, I’m still here to represent you,” Evans said.
Evans’ term is four years, that is unless she runs again.