National Out to Win Day

April 2, 2022

A national day to encourage LGBTQ leaders to run for office.

Danica Roem Wins

This can be you. Danica Roem was a transgender journalist and heavy metal band singer with no experience running for office. Not your typical candidate profile. But her state representative was one of the most anti-LGBTQ state legislators in the nation and had been in office for 25 years. He had to go — so she ran, and she won.

America needs more LGBTQ leaders like Virginia Delegate Danica Roem to step up and run for office. This National Out to Win Day, we ask: Why not you? 

Below, LGBTQ elected officials will share what inspired them to run, why it is so important and how you can do it too. And if they convince you, we’ll share first steps to get started. Our community needs you. 

IMPACT IN OFFICE: DOING THE WORK THAT MATTERS

From stopping anti-trans bills to organizing a city’s pandemic response, out voices can have a huge impact in public office. Hear from LGBTQ leaders – and their constituents – and how working with an LGBTQ elected official on their side shaped the conversation and ensured LGBTQ lives were prioritized. Take a look…

State Senator Mike Simmons and Ida Nelson talk about banning hair discrimination in Illinois 

State Representative Park Cannon & Miss Lawrence on creating access to free PrEP in Georgia

Kansas state Representative Stephanie Byers & Tori Gleason on defeating anti-trans bills in Kansas and the importance of trans representation

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia and Dr. Sabrina Sanders on Long Beach’s COVID-19 response plan and the importance of intersectional policy plans

I’m Ready to Run

Our community desperately needs more LGBTQ people like you to run for office and fight for equality in the halls of power. As we said earlier: if not you, who?

There are many resources to help people running for office, including Victory Institute and our out LGBTQ elected leaders. Below are some action items you can take right now:

Ready to run? Sign up to receive more information about the process – including your first virtual training! 

Learn about and register for our three-day intensive Candidate & Campaign Trainings, held virtually for now and in-person soon!

Outreach to LGBTQ elected officials in your state is a great way to get advice and start a run, so see who is serving near you.

Spread the Word

Help encourage LGBTQ people to run on social media!

America needs more LGBTQ people to run for office, but that won’t happen without your help. Take two minutes to help spread the word about National Out to Win Day and encourage LGBTQ people you know to run!

YOU Should Run

It Needs to Be You

Too many LGBTQ people don’t see themselves as leaders in elected office, but they are wrong. LGBTQ people are winning in conservative towns and liberal states. More LGBTQ people of color, bisexual, transgender and non-binary people are winning than ever before. America is ready to elect LGBTQ leaders, but we need more to step up and run.

The point is: if not you, who?

Palm Springs City Councilmember
Lisa Middleton

You Can Change Lives

Having an LGBTQ voice in the room is invaluable and our out elected officials prove it everyday. LGBTQ elected officials are the driving force behind pro-equality legislation in so many chambers and are the ones who lead the fight to defeat anti-LGBTQ bills. Yet the impact goes well beyond LGBTQ equality issues alone. LGBTQ elected officials are leading on police reform, climate change, healthcare policy and so much more.

You can help transform your school district, your city, your state and your country.

Maine House Speaker Ryan Fecteau

You Are Qualified

You don’t need a law degree or political experience to run for office — and neither of those make you more qualified. LGBTQ elected officials come from diverse work backgrounds and that experience makes them better leaders. LGBTQ elected officials have been teachers, activists, grocery store workers and event planners.

If you are passionate about making lives better for people in your community, you are qualified.

Georgia Sen. Kim Jackson

You Can Do It

We won’t lie: Running as an out LGBTQ candidate is not always easy. We face the rigors all candidates face: choosing a seat to run for, learning how to fundraise and knocking on lots (and we mean lots) of doors. But we also face challenges many candidates do not, unfortunately including anti-LGBTQ campaign tactics. Yet nothing you will face is something another LGBTQ candidate hasn’t faced, and we as a community and training organization will help you on the way.

Others have done it and so can you!

Florida Sen. Shevrin Jones

I’m Ready to Run

Inspired by everything you’ve heard? Take action today:

Sign up to take your first virtual training and learn more about training opportunities, career development programs and more!

Learn about and register for our three-day intensive Candidate & Campaign Trainings, held virtually for now and in-person soon!

Outreach to LGBTQ elected officials in your state is a great way to get advice and start a run, so see who is serving near you.

About the Day

Kathy Kozachenko

On April 2, 1974, Kathy Kozachenko won a seat on the Ann Arbor, Michigan City Council, becoming the first out LGBTQ person elected to public office in the United States. Each April 2, LGBTQ Victory Institute celebrates National Out to Win Day to honor her legacy and encourage more LGBTQ people to run for office in her footsteps.

If you are an LGBTQ person who wants to serve your community and advance LGBTQ equality, we urge you to run for office. If you know an LGBTQ person who should run for office, we ask you give them a nudge. Sometimes that is all it takes.

Where We Are

More LGBTQ people are running and winning elected office than ever before, but the reality is we are still way behind where we should be. LGBTQ people represent 7.1% of the U.S. population, but we still hold just 0.2% of elected positions. We need a moonshot effort to catch up, which means we need you!

known openly LGBTQ elected officials in the U.S.

of elected officials are LGBTQ

more LGBTQ people must be elected to achieve equitable representation*

* There are 519,682 U.S. elected positions, according to Becoming a Candidate, Jennifer L. Lawless, and LGBTQ residents are 7.1 percent of the adult U.S. population, according to Gallup.

Support LGBTQ Victory Institute

LGBTQ Victory Institute works to achieve and sustain global equality through leadership development, training, and convening to increase the number, expand the diversity, and ensure the success of openly LGBTQ elected and appointed officials at all levels of government.