The First Openly LGBTQ+ Native American to be Elected to the United States Congress
"Sharice Lynnette Davids (born May 22, 1980) is an American attorney, former mixed martial artist and politician serving as the U.S. Representative for Kansas's 3rd congressional district since 2019. A member of the Democratic Party, her district serves most of the Kansas side of the Kansas City metropolitan area, including cities such as Kansas City, Overland Park, Lenexa and Olathe.
Davids is the first openly LGBT Native American elected to the United States Congress, the first openly gay person elected to the United States Congress from Kansas, and the first Native American woman elected to Congress (along with Deb Haaland of New Mexico). She is also the second enrolled Native American to represent Kansas in Congress, the first being Charles Curtis, who had roughly 3/8 Native American ancestry, and who served in the House from 1893 to 1907 and in the Senate from 1907 to 1929 (with a short interruption from 1913 to 1915), before becoming Vice-President in 1929.
A lawyer educated at the University of Missouri–Kansas City and Cornell Law School, Davids was a professional mixed martial artist in the 2010s.
Davids is a member of the Ho-Chunk (Winnebago) people, and an enrolled member of the Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin. She was born in Shawnee and now lives in nearby Roeland Park.
Her maternal grandfather, Fredrick J. Davids, a United States Army veteran, was born into the Mohican Nation Stockbridge-Munsee Band, in Oneida, Wisconsin. Sharice was raised by Fredrick's daughter, her mother Crystal Herriage, a single mother who served in the U.S. Army.
Davids attended Leavenworth High School, Haskell Indian Nations University, the University of Kansas, Johnson County Community College, and the University of Missouri–Kansas City, graduating from the last with a bachelor's degree in business administration in 2007. Davids earned her Juris Doctor from Cornell Law School in 2010.
Davids began competing in mixed martial arts (MMA) as an amateur in 2006, and went professional in 2013. She had a 5–1 win–loss record as an amateur and a 1–1 record as a professional. She tried out for The Ultimate Fighter but did not make it onto the show, leading her to shift her focus away from MMA to travel the U.S. and live on Native American reservations to work with the communities on economic and community development programs.
Davids began her legal career at SNR Denton in 2010. She later directed community and economic development for the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and opened her own business, Hoka Coffee.
In 2016, she worked as a White House Fellow in the Department of Transportation during the transition between the Obama and Trump administrations." (1)