An Overview of LGBTQ+ Elected Officials in the U.S. Published June 2024

Key Findings

LGBTQ+ Victory Institute’s is an annual snapshot of the number of known out LGBTQ+ elected officials in the United States and their demographics. The Out for America 2024 report — released in June 2024 — reviews LGBTQ+ elected representation as of May 17, 2024.

 

There are

known out LGBTQ+ elected officials in the U.S.

more LGBTQ+ people must be elected to achieve equitable representation*

of U.S. elected officials are LGBTQ+

increase in LGBTQ+ elected officials in the U.S. since last year

Between June 2023 and May 2024:

  • LGBTQ+ elected officials increased by 10.0 percent, with 1,303 currently serving;
  • Non-binary elected officials increased by 69.6 percent, with 39 now serving;**
  • Trans men and trans women elected officials decreased by 6.0 percent, the first decrease since Out for America tracking began in 2017 (from 47 to 50);
  • LGBTQ+ elected officials increasingly identified as pansexual, queer and bisexual, with 28.6 percent, 23.1 percent and 20.7 percent increases, respectively;
  • LGBTQ+ elected officials of color increased by 17.0 percent, compared to white LGBTQ+ elected officials by 9.3 percent; and
  • LGBTQ+ U.S. Senators increased from two to three, but LGBTQ+ U.S. House members decreased by two (from 11 to nine).

Currently:

  • Only 0.25 percent of U.S. elected officials are LGBTQ+ and 38,193 more must be elected to achieve equitable representation in government;
  • For the first time, less than half of LGBTQ+ elected officials identify as gay (48.2 percent);
  • Though LGBTQ+ people of all races are underrepresented when compared to non-LGBTQ+ elected officials, white LGBTQ+ people are the only racial group overrepresented among LGBTQ+ elected officials overall (64.3 percent);***
  • Black LGBTQ+ state legislators are the only racial group overrepresented among LGBTQ+ state legislators (18.7%);****
  • 33 states and DC have non-binary elected officials (a 142 percent increase in the number of states since June 2023) and 31 states and DC have elected officials who identify as trans men or trans women (a 28 percent increase); and
  • 70.8 percent of LGBTQ+ elected officials identified as Democrats, 2.7 percent as Republicans, 2.4 percent as independents and 5.2 percent as non-partisan or another affiliation. About one-fifth (19.0%) of LGBTQ+ candidates did not indicate any party affiliation.

Since the first Out for America report was released in 2017, LGBTQ+ representation in elected office has increased between 5.8 percent and 25 percent each year — a strong pace. Yet LGBTQ+ people remain extremely underrepresented in elected office, holding just 0.25 percent of elected positions in the United States.

increase in LGBTQ+ elected officials in the last year (June 2023 – May 2024)

increase in LGBTQ+ elected officials since first Out for America report (2017-2024)

 

* According to Gallup in March 2024, 7.6 percent of the U.S. population is LGBTQ+ identified. There are 519,682 U.S. elected positions, according to Becoming a Candidate, Jennifer L. Lawless. Therefore 39,496 LGBTQ+ elected officials would constitute equitable representation

** This includes non-binary, transgender non-binary or genderqueer/non-binary elected officials

***61.6 percent of the U.S. population identified as “white alone” according to Census.gov in 2021.

****14.4 percent of the U.S. population self-identified as Black, according to Pew Research in January 2024

Elected Positions

LGBTQ+ people are severely underrepresented at nearly every level of government and in nearly every public position in the United States.

governors

The U.S. must elect 1 more LGBTQ+ governor for equitable representation (a total of 4 out of 55 state and territory governors).

statewide executives*

The U.S. must elect 18 more LGBTQ+ statewide executives for equitable representation (a total of 27 out of 358 state- and territory-wide executives).

U.S. senators

The U.S. must elect 5 more LGBTQ+ U.S. senators for equitable representation (a total of 8 out of 100 U.S. senators).

U.S. House members

The U.S. must elect 24 more LGBTQ+ U.S. representatives for equitable representation (a total of 33 out of 435 U.S. representatives).

state legislators*

States, territories and the District of Columbia must elect 338 more out LGBTQ+  state legislators for equitable representation (a total of 575 out of 7,572 legislators).

mayors

The U.S. must elect hundreds more LGBTQ+ mayors for equitable representation.

local officials (excluding mayors and school board members)

The U.S. must elect more than 16,000 more LGBTQ+ local officials for equitable representation.

elected judicial officials

The U.S. must elect thousands more LGBTQ+ judicial officials for equitable representation.

school board members

The U.S. must elect 6,711 more school board members (a total of 6,840 out of 90,000).

* Statewide executives include two territory-wide elected officials in Guam and state legislators include one senator in Guam and another in Puerto Rico.

Race & Ethnicity

From June 2023 – May 2024, the number of LGBTQ+ Latinx, Black and Asian & Pacific Islander elected officials grew at a faster rate than LGBTQ+ elected officials overall. LGBTQ+ elected officials who identified either as multiracial or Latinx grew at the fastest pace, 35.5 percent and 17.0 percent, respectively. Overall, LGBTQ+ people of color increased by 17.0 percent, while LGBTQ+ white elected officials grew by 9.3 percent.

An LGBTQ+ elected official may select more than one race/ethnicity category.

increase in LGBTQ+ elected officials of color

increase in white LGBTQ+ elected officials

increase in Latinx LGBTQ+ elected officials

increase in Black LGBTQ+ elected officials

increase in Asian & Pacific Islander LGBTQ+ elected officials

increase in multiracial LGBTQ+ elected officials

Gender Identity

From June 2023 – May 2024, non-binary elected officials increased at a significantly higher rate than cisgender LGBQ elected officials (69.6 percent and 9.2 percent, respectively). Trans women and trans men elected officials decreased for the first time since tracking began in 2017 (by 6.0 percent), compared to a 15.6 percent increase in 2023, 9.8 percent in 2022, 73.1 percent in 2021 and 30.0 percent in 2020. There are currently zero known intersex elected officials.

of LGBTQ elected officials are cisgender

of LGBTQ+ elected officials are transgender or non-binary

increase in non-binary elected officials

decrease in transgender elected officials

increase in LGBTQ+ women elected officials

increase in LGBQ cisgender women elected officials

increase in GBTQ men elected officials

increase in GBQ cisgender men elected officials

Note: The numbers above include seven people who selected two gender identities. 3.4% (45) of elected officials have an unknown or unreported gender identity. Non-binary percentage includes genderqueer and transgender non-binary elected officials.

Sexual Orientation

From June 2023 – May 2024, pansexual, queer and bisexual elected officials grew at a faster rate than other sexual orientations (28.6 percent, 23.1 percent and 20.7 percent, respectively). While the number of lesbian elected officials remained nearly stagnant between 2022 and 2023 and decreased in number between 2021 and 2022, between June 2023 and May 2024 the number increased by 8.3 percent (from 265 to 287).

increase in pansexual elected officials

increase in queer elected officials

increase in bisexual elected officials

increase in lesbian elected officials

increase in gay men elected officials

Note: The numbers above include 19 people who selected two sexual orientations.  4.7% (62) of elected officials have unidentified or unreported sexual orientation information.

Party Affiliation

The vast majority of LGBTQ+ elected officials continue to identify as Democrats, with just 6.1 percent identifying as Republicans and 2.4 percent as Independents. These numbers remain relatively unchanged from recent previous years.

19% of LGBTQ+ elected officials have no known or reported party affiliation.

Party Affiliation of U.S. LGBTQ Elected Officials by Year

 

Out for America Map

Our Out for America map is the most comprehensive database on known out LGBTQ+ elected officials in the United States. The map is updated daily to show the current state of LGBTQ+ representation in elected government.

First published in November 2017,  Out for America is LGBTQ+ Victory Institute’s annual analysis of the state of LGBTQ representation in America. While the increase in LGBTQ elected officials each year is primarily due to new LGBTQ people being elected, part of the increase can be attributed to people coming out while in office and Victory Institute’s efforts to identify more LGBTQ people already in elected office.

You can view previous Out for America reports below: