Washington, DC — There are 698 known openly LGBTQ elected officials in the United States — a 24.9 percent increase in the past year — according to LGBTQ Victory Institute's 2019 Out for America report, which was released today. The increase is attributable to the growing number of LGBTQ people running for office, an increase in those willing to run openly, and incumbent elected officials who are deciding to come out. The report also shows LGBTQ elected officials continue to become more diverse — with LGBTQ people of color, bisexual and transgender people, and cisgender women elected officials increasing at a faster rate than white people and gay men.
While the growth in LGBTQ elected officials was strong, America must elect 22,688 more LGBTQ people to public office to achieve equitable representation in government.
Among the report's key findings:
698 known LGBTQ elected officials are currently serving in the U.S., just 0.13 percent of all elected officials nationwide;
LGBTQ elected officials of color increased by 36 percent compared to 21.1 percent among white LGBTQ elected officials; and
Bisexual elected officials increased by 126 percent and transgender elected officials by 53.8 percent.
The report also found a 22.5 percent increase in LGBTQ state legislators over the past year and a 34.9 percent increase over the past two years.
"While LGBTQ elected officials are increasing in number and becoming more diverse, LGBTQ people — and especially LGBTQ people of color, bisexual and transgender people — remain severely underrepresented at every level of government," said Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Institute. "This must be a call-to-action for our community. LGBTQ candidates face obstacles and inequities that many who run for office do not face, yet voters are ready to elect us if we run. It is our responsibility to encourage leaders in our community to run for office and be our voice in the halls of power."
The Out for America report is an annual analysis of LGBTQ elected representation in government based on Victory Institute's LGBTQ elected officials database — the largest and most comprehensive listing available. The interactive Out for America map displays all known LGBTQ elected officials and is available at outforamerica.org .
Download the full 2019 Out for America report at victoryinstitute.org/outforamerica2019 .
About Victory Institute
Victory Institute works to increase the number of LGBTQ people in public office and provides programming, services, and other support to ensure their success.
—From a press release