Queer. Disabled. Millennial.
Born in Oklahoma, Sarah Shorter has lived most of their life in Kansas City and surrounding environs.
As a student at Holy Cross Elementary School, Sarah vividly remembers her confirmation class insisting on being confirmed by the senior Pastor before he was deployed after 9/11. Shorter continued their Christian education at Lutheran High School of KC. This school provided Shorter with a unique experience. A private religious school, LHSKC boasted a student body of just over 100 in their time there. This meant away games at many smaller rural schools and the ability to participate in any extracurricular.
Shorter then enrolled in Truman State University in Kirksville, MO, in an ill-fated attempt at a degree. Struggling with depression, self-harm, and great upheaval in their personal life, Sarah eventually left Truman to deal with their mental health issues, and is not ashamed to say that the only reason they are alive today is because of their mother and an incredible therapist.
Shorter then went on to attend Wellspring School of Allied Health and became a licensed massage therapist until a car accident made that profession untenable.
Sarah then spent a summer working at the Kansas City Zoo, which gave them an appreciation not just for the zoo but also for the skills required to wrangle 40 children in 90+ degree heat while walking up hill both ways. Inspired by her coworkers, Shorter finally went back to school to finish their degree, going to Maple Woods and finally KU to graduate in 2020 with a BA in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.
Sarah currently works part-time at one of the largest library system's in the country and full time doing administrative work overnight in the emergency department of a downtown Kansas City hospital.
Sarah is a proud member of the LGBTQIA+ community and is proof that praying the gay away (or bi, or pan, or trans) doesn't work. Shorter used this particular experience in undergraduate research at the University of Kansas, where they studied the effects of religious schooling and the formation of a queer identity.
Shorter is also open and unapologetic about their struggles with anxiety, depression, PTSD, and ADHD. Again, these experiences have made Sarah a strong advocate for mental health help and trauma informed care.
Though they have no formal political experience, that hasn't stopped anyone in the past. Shorter is a fast learner, ready and willing to hit the ground running to learn something new. Metaphorically hit the ground running. Sarah has been due for a knee replacement for over a year and doesn't actually run.
Shorter brings a new perspective to the State Senate. Shorter is not a lawyer or a businessperson, or a fifth-generation Missourian. Rather, Shorter is a third-generation American who only recently stopped worrying about overdrafting their bank account every month. Shorter knows what life is like for everyday Missourians because Shorter is an everyday Missourian, who has everyday Missourian coworkers and clients.
The issues being debated in the Missouri legislature are not abstract--they are concrete and real, things Sarah Shorter sees every day.
Sarah is ready to fight for you, District 34. Will you fight with them?
Speaking out is hard
but somebody has to do it
I believe in frank discussions on uncomfortable topics. Just because we don't discuss something doesn't make it go away, and silencing discussions often does a great deal of harm.
I have a moral obligation to discuss things others are not in a position to, such as LGBTQIA+ rights, mental health issues, disability rights, minority rights, surviving trauma, etc.
In the Senate, I will stand up for the rights of people, not corporations. I will fight for every Missourian to have the education, nutrition, healthcare, and housing they need to achieve their full potential.
Sometimes you have to admit you don't know everything
I've been blessed to have friends who have different life expereinces or upbringings. Through the years they have educated me gently--and sometimes not so gently--on issues I would never encounter. I've learned to be present in the moment when these discussions are happening, even if they're uncomfortable.
This has also shown me the value of holding space for others. Just because we aren't hearing someone's voice doesn't mean they aren't speaking or don't want to. We have to be willing to give people a chance to say what they need--to provide them with an opportunity to do so.
I will never stop listening to, and learning from, all those that call Missouri their home.
Take one breath, then another. Survival doesn't always happen in big steps.
I have survived a lot.
Chronic pain, chronic migraines, and a thrice-torn ACL are just the beginning although they all suck.
I've also survived emotional abuse, homelessness, crippling depression and anxiety, PTSD, ADHD, and an undiagnosed learning disorder.
I am also a recovering self-harm addict and have dealt with suicidal tendencies.
Being a survivor means I know how to fight. I've fought for my own life; now I want to fight so everyone in Missouri can live their best life.