With over 25 LGBTQ elected officials in North Carolina alone, the Victory Institute’s annual “Out for America” report is nothing short of statistically astounding. As of 2021, there are 986 LGBTQ elected officials in the United States. Despite the historic significance of this number, Mayor Annise Parker, president and CEO of the LGBTQ Victory Institute says, “we still must elect 28,116 more LGBTQ people to public office before equitable representation is achieved and we must ensure those leaders are as diverse as our community.”
However, it is clear to see that strides are being made in every states for the queer community. The LGBTQ BIPOC community also saw an overall increase of 51 percent, with a 75 percent increase for black officials, a 53 percent increase for Asian and Pacific Islander officials, a 38 percent increase for LatinX officials and a 40 percent increase for multiracial officials.
Indigenous/Alaskan Native people continue to be one of the least represented groups in government. The total of elected U.S. officials, queer or otherwise, who identify in this community is 0.4 percent.
There are more cisgender men than cisgender women or gender expansive officials put together. But, the genderqueer/nonbinary community saw a 100 percent progression since last year. This was, in large part, due to states like Oklahoma that chose to appoint nonbinary Muslim lawmaker, Mauree Turner, into the state House District 88.
These “firsts” have put places like Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Kansas, Illinois and Vermont on the map for either electing, or reelecting transgender individuals. According to the Victory Institute survey, transgender women saw some of the most growth in 2020. Transgender men and intersex people, on the other hand, did not see any improvement whatsoever.
29 states have non-cisgender officials serving on either a county, city or municipal level. “A moonshot effort to increase our numbers is essential to advancing equality at every level of government,” Parker says. “and a large part of that is showing LGBTQ people that running for office is our best bet to achieve lasting social change.”
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