New Report: LGBTQ People Make Up Just 0.1% of School Board Members Nationwide; Majority Have Faced Verbal or Life-Threatening Attacks

Over half of respondents have faced verbal attacks and more than a third have faced threats to their physical safety

Majority of states have no known LGBTQ school board members

Washington, DC – Today LGBTQ Victory Institute released Few & Under Fire: LGBTQ School Board Members in the U.S., the first national survey of out LGBTQ school board members. Schools have become ground zero for anti-LGBTQ attacks and in many cases, LGBTQ school board members have been specifically targeted. This research delves into the state of LGBTQ representation on school boards across the country and outlines the type of attacks LGBTQ school board members face while running for and serving in office.

Key findings:

  • Out of the approximately 90,000 school board members in the U.S., only 0.1% (90) are known to be members of the LGBTQ community, despite LGBTQ people making up 7.1% of the U.S. adult population.
  • To close this representation gap, we must elect over 6,000 LGBTQ people to school boards nationwide.
  • Out of the 90 known LGBTQ school board members, there are six trans people and two non-binary people.
  • 47% respondents have been the target of anti-LGBTQ verbal attacks as a school board candidate and 51% had been the target of anti-LGBTQ verbal attacks as a school board member.
  • 17% had been the target of anti-LGBTQ verbal attacks from a fellow member of the school board.
  • More than one-third of respondents faced threats to their safety and 6.4% received death threats as a school board candidate or member.
  • One-third of respondents stated there are candidates running for their school board who are championing an anti-LGBTQ platform.
  • The vast majority (87%) of respondents have put forward pro-LGBTQ policies or legislation during their time as a school board member.

Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Institute, released the following statement about the findings:

From ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bills to book bans to bans on trans kids in sports, our schools have been ground zero for anti-LGBTQ vitriol this year. In many cases, school boards have the power to determine the rights LGBTQ kids do – and don’t – have. This survey reveals that LGBTQ people are seriously underrepresented on school boards nationally, with over half of states lacking any LGBTQ representation at all. Those that do serve face attacks for showing up as their authentic selves and standing up for LGBTQ kids. It’s time this dangerous, shameful reality is brought into the light so that we as a society can do better. Our kids’ futures depend on it.”

The entire digital report can be viewed here.


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.