Florida City commissioner and high school teacher Ty Penserga will make history as the first out LGBTQ+ Asian-American mayor elected in the US state.

The Philippines-born mayor-elect secured 60 per cent of the votes cast on Tuesday’s (8 March) election, according to WPTV. He will succeed Mayor Steven Grant, who is limited by serving maxing terms as the Boynton Beach mayor.

Penserga ran against candidates Cindy Falco-Di Corrado, Golene Gordon and Bernard Wright.

The newly-elect previously served as vice mayor and was elected to the Boynton Beach commission in 2020.

Taking to Twitter, the former City commissioner celebrated the win and what it would mean for Florida City in the future.

“We did it, together, Boynton Beach! Thank you to everyone who supported the campaign and all the residents, community organizations, and local businesses who trusted in me. I am honored to be your next Mayor. I look forward to serving all of you!” he posted online.

Penserga was elected the same day the Florida state Senate passed Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, which would prohibit “classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity.”

The legislation, which is officially called the Parental Rights in Education bill, seeks to restrict “classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity” within primary schools.

Penserga reflected on his win during his victory speech on Tuesday and spotlighted the possibility of enabling change regardless of background or identity.

“In this room, there are people from all parts of the political spectrum, whether you’re a community activist, whether you’re a radio talk show host, whether you are a businessperson, whether you are a community leader in the LGBTQ community, whatever it is this campaign has brought together so many people and I am so proud of all of you,” he said.

“There is more we have in common than separates us. Most of us are not just one thing, or one category, we cross boundaries. Those are real people with real stories like many of you.”

The politician also reflected on the need for greater representation and visibility in political positions across the US: “When I was in college my friends and their siblings were getting attacked. And they were Asian-Americans. We did not know why we were being attacked. Whether they were waiting at the subway, or at the grocery store. We were afraid and we felt powerless.

“Nobody was there to fight for us. Where are the protests? Who’s going to City Hall? We didn’t have anyone. That’s where my story began,” Penserga explained. “I realized that not only did I need to build myself up, but I needed to build others up to create a leadership pipeline. We need to build a community of leaders.”

Mayor Annise Parker, President and CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund, issued the following statement about the election: “While legislators in Tallahassee were trying to silence us, voters were making their voices heard at the ballot box. And with resounding enthusiasm, they chose equality.

“Not only did Ty shatter a lavender ceiling in Boynton Beach tonight, his election is a clear call of hope to LGBTQ people in Florida and across the country who are tirelessly battling legislatures bent on stripping away our basic human rights and freedoms.”