TRAHANT REPORTS – Denise Juneau, Montana’s superintendent of public instruction, and a candidate for Congress, revealed publicly that she is gay at a fundraiser. According to The Billings Gazette, Juneau “has been open for some time about her sexuality, without making a big deal of it.”
“She was very open about it. I think everyone appreciated how she handled it,” Dorothy Bradley told KTVQ news. The former state legislator and 1992 gubernatorial candidate who attended Juneau’s fundraiser said, “She handled it like, ‘This is no big deal .. and, the campaign goes on.'”
The TV news report said “Juneau has already made Montana political history as the first Native American woman to win election to statewide office. Now, she’s also the first openly gay candidate to seek a federal post.”
Juneau is a member of the Mandan and Hidatsa Tribes and a descendant of the Blackfeet tribe. She was raised in Browning. In 2008 Juneau became the first American Indian woman to win a statewide office, Superintendent of Public Instruction. She was re-elected to that post in 2012.
Mark Trahant is the Charles R. Johnson Endowed Professor of Journalism at the University of North Dakota. He is an independent journalist and a member of The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes. On Twitter @TrahantReports.