Today LGBTQ+ Victory Institute released “Leading Out Loud: Growing LGBTQ+ Political Representation,” a new report tracking increases in LGBTQ+ representation in government over the past five years. The release of the report is part of Lead Out Loud Day, LGBTQ+ Victory Institute’s national day to encourage and recruit LGBTQ+ leaders to run for office. Lead Out Loud Day is held on April 2nd each year to commemorate Kathy Kozachenko’s historic win in 1974, when she became the first out LGBTQ+ person ever elected to public office in the United States.
- A record number of LGBTQ+ people are now serving in the U.S. The number of out LGBTQ+ elected officials serving in the U.S. increased by 68% over the past five years, rising from 698 to 1,174.
- LGBTQ+ elected officials are more racially diverse than ever. The proportion of LGBTQ+ people of color serving in the U.S. increased from 22% in 2019 to 32% in 2023, a 10% increase. Black/African-American/Afro-Caribbean representation increased by 186% and Latinx representation increased by 116%, far outpacing increases in white elected officials, which increased by 42%.
- LGBTQ+ women continue to see progress. LGBTQ+ women saw a 60% increase in representation, rising from 287 to 459. The number of trans women increased from 15 to 41.
- LGBTQ+ elected officials are more gender diverse. Representation for non-binary and gender non-confirming people increased by 300%. Representation for trans women increased by 173% and for trans men by 80%.
- LGBTQ+ elected officials are more diverse in terms of sexual orientation. Queer, bisexual and pansexual representation grew more than 200% since 2019.
- There are a record number of LGBTQ+ members of Congress. There are currently 13 out LGBTQ+ members of Congress, up from 10 in 2019.
- State legislatures saw historic increases. In the wake of unprecedented anti-LGBTQ laws introduced in state legislatures across the country, the number of out LGBTQ+ state lawmakers increased by 55%, from 147 in 2019 to a record 228 in 2023.
- LGBTQ+ representation in local government had the greatest increase. LGBTQ+ representation at the local level increased by 83% since 2019, from 394 to 721.
Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ+ Victory Institute, released the following statement:
“It is no coincidence this ‘year of hate’ coincides with a record number of LGBTQ+ elected officials serving in public office, from school boards to Congress. The courage of LGBTQ+ lawmakers fighting these hateful bills proves this backlash has not and will not deter our community. While LGBTQ+ people remain underrepresented in government, our progress over the past five years underscores the reality that momentum and ultimately, history, is on our side. We must seize this moment and unite in our efforts to recruit and support future LGBTQ+ candidates because our best line of defense is ensuring LGBTQ+ voices are in every hall of power. Our rights depend on it.”
The full report is available here.
More information about Lead Out Loud Day and Victory Institute’s work to recruit and train future LGBTQ+ candidates is available here.