International LGBTQ Leaders Conference

A Timeline of the LGBTQ Leaders Conference

1984 – About a dozen lawmakers gather to discuss the unique challenges of serving as openly gay elected officials. Attendee John Heilman, city council member of West Hollywood, described the gathering as “more like a support group.”

1985 – The conference is held in West Hollywood, California.

1986 – The conference is held in Washington, DC. A 24-year-old county supervisor from Wisconsin named Tammy Baldwin attends the conference for the first time, eager to learn from this network of openly LGBTQ officials. Sen. Baldwin has now served more than a decade on Capitol Hill as a representative and a senator.

1987 – The conference is held in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

1988 – The conference is held in San Diego, California

1989 – The conference is held in Madison, Wisconsin

1990 – The conference is held in Boston.

1991 – The International Conference of Openly Gay & Lesbian Elected and Appointed Officials is hosted by the Houston Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus in Houston.

1992 – The conference is held in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The National Network of Lesbian and Gay Officials sends a formal letter to President-elect Bill Clinton and Vice President-elect Al Gore to discuss “AIDS, violence against lesbian and gays, and discrimination in all areas especially in the military and in child custody disputes.” The International Network of Gay & Lesbian Elected officials determines that there are only 68 openly LGBTQ officials serving in Australia, Canada, England, Germany, Ireland and the United States.

1993 – The conference is held in Chicago, Illinois.

1994 – The tenth annual conference, held in Seattle, marks a monumental anniversary for LGBTQ elected officials. The conference has an estimated 200 attendees.

1995 – The conference is held in Toronto, Ontario (pictured). The Toronto Star reports on the conference, stating that the Victory Fund candidates have a 60 per cent success rate in their elections.

1996 – The conference is held in West Hollywood, California. Attendees from the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia attend.

1997 – The conference is held in Philadelphia.

1998 – The conference is held in Cathedral City, California.

1999 – The conference is held in Providence, Rhode Island.

2000 – The conference is held in Tempe, Arizona

2001 – The conference is held in Washington, DC.

2002 – The conference is held in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

2003 – The conference is held in San Diego, California.

2004 – The Gay & Lesbian Victory Foundation cosponsors the International Network of Lesbian & Gay Officials Conference for the first time. The 20th annual conference is held in New Orleans.

2005 – The conference is held in Seattle.

2006 – The conference is held in Houston. Annise Parker, then-controller of Houston, welcomes the conference to “Houston, the Big City with a Big Heart, the City of Opportunity.”

2007 – The conference is held in Las Vegas.

2008 – The conference is held in Washington, DC.

2009 – The 25th International Gay & Lesbian Leadership Conference is held in San Francisco to honor the life of Harvey Milk. The International Network of Lesbian & Gay Officials has nearly 1,000 members worldwide.

2010 – The conference is held in Washington, DC. The program states that there are over 1,000 openly LGBTQ elected and appointed officials in the United States.

2011 – The conference is held in Houston.

2012 – The conference is held in Long Beach, California. Senator-Elect Tammy Baldwin is spotlighted for being the first LGBTQ U.S. senator. John Heilman describes the event as “A great memory; everyone was in celebration. At the beginning, we never could have imagined such a win.”

2013 – The conference is held in Denver, Colo.

2014 – The conference is held in Washington, DC.

2015 – The conference is held in Las Vegas.

2016 – Our largest conference in history attracted more than 500 participants including 141 LGBTQ elected officials. The conference — which took place in Washington, DC — began with a closed door session of more than 40 LGBTQ elected officials. There they strategized how LGBTQ elected officials should respond to the election of President Donald Trump.