Justice Horn, a GLAAD Media Institute (GMI) alum, continues to push the envelope for LGBTQ acceptance in his home state of Missouri.
The 2020 Victory Empowerment Fellow and 2022 LGBTQ Victory Fund endorsed candidate has been appointed chair of Kansas City’s LGBTQ Commission, and he’s received an outpour of well wishes, including on the dating app, Grindr. Horn took the congratulation in stride, especially after his post about it went viral.
I do not and will not regret posting this because I’m young, single, and gay—but even the folks on Grindr are wishing me well on becoming Chair of the LGBTQ Commission. Thanks kings.pic.twitter.com/yZhB1odzfe
— Justice Horn (@JusticeHorn_) January 2, 2023
“It was an unconventional way of receiving the message, but I also understand that a big portion of the community I serve is there and it was being delivered with good intentions, so I received it pretty well. It still meant a lot to me,” Horn said in an email to GLAAD.
— GLAAD (@glaad) January 4, 2023
Nevertheless, behind Horn’s new role as chair of the first, and only, LGBTQ Commission in the state of Missouri is his story.
GLAAD met Horn in 2019.
The GLAAD Media Institute, just 2-years-old at the time, hit a milestone by training 10,000 storytellers. Horn was one of those 2019 storytellers. At the time, he was studying business administration, on the wrestling team and performing duties as the student body president at the University of Missouri at Kansas City.
The #GLAADInstitute was created to equip and empower advocates and storytellers to strengthen their media impact and accelerate acceptance for the LGBTQ community.
— GLAAD (@glaad) July 24, 2019
In a similar two-year milestone, the former-Jackson County Legislature candidate for Missouri’s 1st District, served as vice chair of the Kansas City LGBTQ Commission for two years. The Kansas City, Missouri Council created the commission on Dec. 17, 2020. Along with Horn, thirteen in-district commissioners from the six city council districts and seven specialty commissioners in the areas housing, health, public safety, and education serve on the commission.
Additionally, Horn says he is the first person of Gen Z to chair a city board or commission in Kansas City. He is also the Board Director of the Jackson County Children’s Services Fund, which, according to Horn, makes him the highest ranking member of Gen Z in local government in the Kansas City metro.
At 24 years of age, I’m forever grateful for the opportunities that are afforded to me, but it shouldn’t just be me. Our state legislature, city councils, county commissions, and the boards and commissions under them need more Gen Z representation. (2/3) pic.twitter.com/gljg41zsMD
— Justice Horn (@JusticeHorn_) January 1, 2023
“All of my past experience has prepared me to serve in this capacity and I’m forever thankful for that. From being a candidate for public office, being a GLAAD media institute alumus, and activist, this has allowed me to create a strategy, see an opening, and push us towards progress,” said Horn.
Horn’s adapting his Jackson County campaign priorities into the commission’s strategy. This includes launching the “LGBTQ+ Protection Policy Plan”, which would ban conversion therapy in Jackson County, and protect reproductive and gender affirming health care for county employees.
Along with the “LGBTQ+ Protection Policy Plan”, the LGBTQ Commission’s other priorities include supporting LGBTQ spaces like Kansas City’s first LGBTQ community center and LGBTQ businesses, reducing the harm impacting our Black, trans community, and supporting mutual aid funds with the addition of creating a stronger sense of community within the diverse LGBTQ+ community, shared Horn.
Reminder: Mark your calendars!
— LGBTQ Commission of Kansas City (@LGBTQCommission) December 31, 2022
“At the end of the day, I serve in this role and advocate for this community because I truly love our community, so I’m willing to fight for it,” said Horn.
Horn has continued to make progress in his community, but he also had to step up to systemic, systematic failures and hate.
The activist rose to notoriety due to his role in Kansas City’s Black Lives Matter movement. His leadership concluded a list of demands signed-off by Mayor Quinton Lucas, including recently instituted body cams for police officers, reported the Los Angeles Blade.
On July 4, Horn’s campaign banner was defaced with an anti-LGBTQ slur: ‘F**’.
This Tuesday, July 5th at 9 AM, I plan to have a press conference at the sight of the defaced banner at 4644 Campbell St. Kansas City, MO 64110 to address any concerns or questions.
I invite the community, especially LGBTQ+ folks to come out and stand with me against this hate. pic.twitter.com/zqUyvUapr5
— Justice Horn (@JusticeHorn_) July 3, 2022
The GMI alumnus used his training to take action by addressing the need for LGBTQ protections to the media.
“It’s hard not to take it personally because it was a personal attack,” said Horn to the Kansas City Star. “It’s time to stop rainbow washing and advocating for LGBTQ+ people just during pride month.”