Civil rights and social justice attorney Michele Rayner made history in 2020 when she was elected as the first openly queer Black member of the Florida legislature and immediately established herself as one of the strongest advocates for underserved communities. In her first term, Rep. Rayner has brought back resources to communities in the Tampa Bay Area by making legislative alliances across the aisle while challenging the Governor and her colleagues in the Florida Legislature. Now, she’s ready to do more for her constituents by bringing their fight back to Tallahassee.
Michele was raised by a family of changemakers in Pinellas County. Her parents both integrated the University of South Florida in the early 1960s, with her mother going on to become one of the first Black social workers in St. Petersburg and her father successfully putting himself through engineering school while working in a warehouse. Her parents established themselves as community leaders and set an example for Michele with their dedication to service.