The story at a glance
- A record 1,043 elected officials in the United States openly identify as LGBTQ+, according to a new report from the LGBTQ Victory Fund.
- 22 states have more LGBTQ+ elected officials than in 2021, while 10 states have fewer.
- The election of non-cisgender LGBTQ+ leaders outpaced that of cisgender LGBTQ+ leaders, increasing 13.2% and 4.3% year-over-year, respectively.
More than 1,000 elected officials in the United States openly identify as LGBTQ+, according to new data, the highest number on record and up nearly 6% from a year ago.
A record 1,043 openly LGBTQ+ elected officials hold public office in 2022, up from 986 last year, according to an annual tally released Thursday by the LGBTQ Victory Fund, an organization that helps elect more LGBTQ+ candidates to public office.
In 22 states, LGBTQ+ representation is up from a year ago, according to the Victory Fund report, though representation is down in 10 states. Nationally, openly LGBTQ+ people make up just 0.2% of elected officials, with nearly 36,000 more people needed to achieve fair representation.
A Gallup poll released in February found that 7.1% of the US population identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or other than heterosexual, double what it was a decade earlier.
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“Despite the fact that the LGBTQ community has never had fair representation in government — and we still have a long way to go — there are clear signs of progress,” Annise Parker, president and director, said Thursday. CEO of the LGBTQ Victory Fund, in a statement. . “They represent the strength and diversity of not only who we are as a society today, but also of the America we aspire to build for future generations.”
Parker, who in 2009 became the first openly LGBTQ+ person elected mayor of a major US city, acknowledged on Wednesday that the surge in LGBTQ+ elected officials comes during the worst legislative years for LGBTQ+ rights in recent history. .
Hundreds of bills introduced in state legislatures across the country have threatened to restrict how LGBTQ+ people access health care, play sports, or speak about their identity at school or work.
“With a historic number of anti-LGBTQ laws introduced this year, unprecedented attacks on trans children, and ongoing efforts to censor classrooms and libraries across the country, LGBTQ elected officials are on the front lines of defending our rights and freedoms,” Parker said.
Diversity among openly LGBTQ+ elected officials in terms of race, ethnicity, gender identity and sexual orientation has also increased markedly over the past year. Colored elected officials rose 12.3% from a year ago, according to Thursday’s report, compared to an increase of just 1.3% for white LGBTQ+ elected officials.
Native American/Alaska Native LGBTQ+ representation saw the strongest year-over-year growth at 25%, with the number of Asian and Pacific Islander (AAPI) American LGBTQ+ elected officials increasing to a slightly lower rate of 19.2%.
Black LGBTQ+ elected officials grew at a similar rate (17.6%) and Latino LGBTQ+ representation in 2022 increased 8.3% from 2021, the Victory Fund said Thursday.
Meanwhile, the election of non-cisgender LGBTQ+ officials this year has surpassed that of cisgender LGBTQ+ representation, increasing by 13.2% and 4.3%, respectively. (Cisgender elected officials still make up about 93% of all public office holders in the United States.)
According to data from the Victory Fund, non-cisgender elected officials have increased more than tenfold over the past five years, to 77 in 2022 from just six in 2017. This includes a 33% increase in non-binary or genderqueer elected officials and a year of 9.8% – year-over-year increase in the number of transgender elected officials, who currently serve in 24 states.
Thirty-two states have elected non-cisgender officials to public office.
Openly bisexual elected officials increased at the fastest rate this year, rising 26.8% to 90 from 71 in 2021. Pansexual elected officials increased by 21.4% and elected officials who identify as gay increased by 13 .3%.
Gay men elected to public office rose 2.6% from a year ago, while the number of lesbians in office fell 2.2%.
The Victory Fund announced last month that 1,006 openly LGBTQ+ candidates are running for public office this year, the highest number ever.
Posted on August 18, 2022