Bisexual candidates run in Arkansas
by Elisabeth Slay
She fought against the AIDS crisis and has been arrested four times for protesting. Now this openly bisexual Democrat is running for Carroll County Justice of the Peace, 3rd District in Arkansas.
And she’s just been endorsed by the Victory Fund, “the only national organization dedicated to electing openly LGBTQ+ people who can further equality at all levels of government.”
“As District 3, Justice of the Peace, I will fight to assure accountability and responsibility in how our county tax dollars are spent,” candidate Harrie Farrow said. “[I will] create a political environment inclusive and respectful of all peoples in Carroll County, prioritize people over money and community over politics.”
Farrow has lived as an openly bisexual person in Eureka Springs for 26 years and owns a restaurant.
Her campaign is supported by the former Justice of the Peace who held the position for eight years.
The activist said her opponent is known for his anti-LGBTQ+ beliefs and public scrutiny of the community.
Farrow said in 2015, “We were having a vote on our city’s anti-discrimination ordinance, and he wrote there were ‘dark forces’ with an ‘evil agenda’ fighting for the ordinance. He seems to realize how this attitude would prevent him from getting elected in this district and so he doesn’t mention it when people bring it up.
“It seems clear to me he is trying to pass himself off as a great open-minded guy when clearly that is not who he has shown himself to be in the not too distant past. Thus far, I have not heard of him making any references to my orientation though I have heard about him making disparaging references to the name I use, Harrie.”
According to Farrow, she’s a nationally and internationally known advocate for bisexual rights. She’s on the board of the national nonprofit BiNet and in the past wrote a column for The Gayly called The BiAngle.
The mother of one began her activism for the bi community in 2013.
“When the 2016 election happened, I soon realized what was best for the bi community, the LGBTQ+ community, all marginalized communities and our democracy even. It was that I fight the frightening new administration’s efforts to dismantle all our rights,” Farrow said.
“On the day after the inauguration, when the GOP administration took down all the LGBTQ+ federal government web pages, it was glaringly clear.”
Her passion for speaking out, however, began in the 1970s in Washington D.C. where she protested against Nucelar weapons and the decriminalizing of marijuana.
“Living in San Francisco in the 1980s, I participated in various protest actions: demonstrations against our government’s involvement in El Salvador, protests for acknowledgment of the AIDS crisis, marches for LGBT+ rights and blocking the roads to Lawrence Livermore labs when they were working on Nuclear weapons research,” Farrow said.
Farrow has a background in communications and uses those skills in her activism and political campaign.
“As Communications Director for Indivisible Eureka Springs, and an activist for health care and families, I am well-acquainted with political issues and elected officials,” Farrow said.
The former news reporter is on the Carroll County Democrats Latino outreach committee, and she’s dedicated to doing right by her community.
“I want to assure that Carroll County benefits from the positive offerings of progress while minimizing the impact on our cherished traditions and way of life,” Farrow said.
In recent years, Farrow said she’d been involved with Birddog Nation’s actions in Washington D.C. on six different occasions. She was arrested four out of the six times for “civil disobedience.” The candidate was also one of the 600 women arrested in the Senate Hart Building fighting for families separated at the border.
Like her own campaign, Farrow is working with political groups on finding higher government candidates who care about people rather than money.
“One of the most important things we can do is change the ills of our system from within. I was considering running for office, so when the chairman of the Carroll County Democratic party asked me to run for Justice of the Peace, I stepped up,” Farrow said.
Her Justice of the Peace campaign has been endorsed by the Progressive Arkansas Women (PAC), and other organizations support her.
“The LGBTQ+ Historical Button Project has recently asked for some of my campaign buttons for an exhibition being planned for World Pride 2019 in New York City which coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall rebellion. I’m really excited by that,” Farrow said.
For more information about Farrow’s campaign and to find her on social media, visit her website at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additionally, candidate Kati McFarland , an openly bisexual woman running for Arkansas House District 90, did not respond to our request for an interview.
Robin Dorner, Editor in Chief contributed to this story.
Copyright The Gayly – September 19, 2018 @ 8 a.m. CDT.