Sean Meloy: To Be a Voice for the Voiceless

Sean Meloy on his campaign to be the first out LGBTQ Congressman from Pennsylvania.

Sean Meloy. Photo courtesy of the Meloy campaign.

Updated May 11, 2022, at 6:45 pm

Unless you reside under a rock, you’re probably well aware that paying attention to politics can be stressful. It seems like every day there is something new about which to be shocked and/or outraged as out-of-touch elected officials make you sorry you ever entered a ballot booth. If only there were more diverse representation in political office, you think to yourself. Who is looking out for the LGBTQ+ community? Well, people like Sean Meloy, Democratic candidate for Congress in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania’s primary election is Tuesday, May 17. Are you registered to vote? Do you know where your polling place is? Get all the election information you need at www.VOTE411.org.

Sean was born and raised in Allegheny County where he still resides with his partner, Ethan. Attending Hampton public schools and Penn State University, Sean has always had a penchant for civic engagement, starting with Boy Scouts, where he ran for and was elected troop leader before eventually becoming an Eagle Scout. “That was my first real taste of democracy and having an impact.”

In Sean’s senior year of high school, he became involved with John Kerry’s campaign for president, and only recently did Sean realize just what that meant to him on a personal level. “George W. Bush was fighting for a constitutional amendment to outlaw gay marriage and by fighting for John Kerry I was secretly fighting for myself,” Sean says. “I never thought I was going to come out of the closet.”

Knocking on doors, getting to know people, and working together to solve problems have been a throughline in Sean’s political career from its humble beginnings in his scout troop to now, with his campaign for Congress. A campaign that takes aim at much of the right-wing extremism that is currently attacking women, trans people, and even teachers. “I went to Penn State to be a Social Studies teacher and the fact that people want to tell teachers what they can and can’t talk about, to essentially revise history, that is an un-American, extremist idea,” Sean says. “We need to get representation into Congress and I know I’m the best candidate to do that in this district.”

Sean would be the first out LGBTQ+ member of Congress from Pennsylvania and he has heard so many stories from voters about how excited they are for this kind of representation and what it means for young people. He also notes the importance of keeping control of this seat in Congress in Democratic hands. “Maybe we can find some solutions to actually prevent this extremist ideology,” Sean says, the ideology that threatens the equality act, abortion rights, and marriage equality. “We need people that actually represent their community and are organizing year-round. We are going to have to work harder than ever but if we want to save our democracy that is what I’m willing to do and want to get other folks doing, too.”

This fight is nothing new for Sean; before running for Congress, he served as Vice President of Political Programs for Victory Fund, an organization dedicated to electing champions that support the right of privacy, reproductive freedom, and the advancement of equality for the LGBTQ+ community. This same organization now endorses Sean Meloy’s candidacy, an endorsement he is incredibly honored to receive. “I am that champion that we need to fight this extremist right-wing Supreme Court and their allies in Congress.”

With politics becoming so polarizing, how does an openly gay candidate decompress? For a Trekkie like Sean, it is all about science fiction (Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, etc.), board games (Acquire, Star Wars Rebellion), and…dystopian future novels. “Hopefully I can work towards not making that happen,” Sean laughs.

One would expect that in the era of the Former-President-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named, Sean would be dealing with a lot of toxic nonsense but he has found the response to his campaign to be primarily positive. “There are some naysayers, which is true for every single person in a group that has never been elected before. We are told we shouldn’t step up because that’s not the way things have been and then once we do step up we’re told, ‘we’ve never elected someone like you before so we just can’t do it,’” Sean says. “Luckily when we see historic candidates, whether it be women, young people, people of color, LGBTQ people, voters tell us they want new and different voices in government because the government hasn’t been working for them.”

Read more about the “electability” of LGBTQ candidates here.

But our community is not the only one that feels voiceless right now. Sean was raised in a middle-class home and was surprised when his parents expressed that if they were trying to raise a family now, 25 years later, they could not get by. “That is how so many families are feeling right now and it is wrong,” Sean says. He recognizes that not only is he going to bring a new perspective to Congress as an LGBTQ+ person, but also the needed perspective of a working family to a place that is mostly millionaires.

To the LGBTQ+ folks here in Pittsburgh, Sean asks that you get involved and come together as a community to ensure that we make our voices heard in politics. Having grown up here, Sean has gotten the sense that many LGBTQ+ people think there are not many of us around but, as he says, “we are out there. We’ve got to coalesce and make sure that people know we’re here because representation matters and is going to help the next generation find themselves and their voice.”

Sean would be honored to have your vote. You can learn more about him and support his campaign at SeanMeloy.com.

Pennsylvania’s primary election is on Tuesday, May 17. For more info regarding who and what you will be voting for in this and every election, visit www.VOTE411.org.

Roy Gloeckl resides in the southern hills of Pittsburgh, performing communications specialties for a local university. He is a lifelong gaymer who has yet to “catch ‘em all.” He is an actor who wants to be a cartoon. And yeah, he totally has a favorite dinosaur. Follow him on Instagram and tell him yours.