The number of LGBTQI+ elected officials in the United States in national, state and local government roles continues to rise, according to a new report.
“Over the past year, we’ve seen an incredible jump in the number of LGBTQ people elected to public office — and they are becoming more representative of our entire community as well,” said Annise Parker, the president and chief executive of LGBTQ Victory Institute, the organization that released the 2021 report in July. Parker, the former mayor of Houston, was one of the first openly gay mayors of a large U.S. city.
As of June 2021, there are nearly 1,000 openly LGBTQI+ elected officials across 49 of 50 states, the report says. This is more than double the number from four years ago and a 17% increase from 2020.
In Washington, the Biden-Harris administration’s Cabinet — appointed by the president with approval of Congress — is the most diverse in U.S. history.
The number of Black LGBTQI+ U.S. elected officials increased by 75% since last year — the fastest increase of all demographics in the report — and the number of multiracial LGBTQI+ elected officials rose by 40%.
According to the report, there are also:
- Twenty-three states with transgender elected officials.
- An equitable representation among the mayors of the top 100 U.S. cities for the first time.
- A 71% increase in representation among transgender women.
Even as these leaders discharge the duties with which their constituents have entrusted them, they also “are leading the way in passing conversion therapy bans in city councils, fighting anti-trans bills in state legislatures and in passing the Equality Act in the U.S. House,” Parker said. The Equality Act, which is awaiting a Senate vote, would enact federal nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQI+ people.
In the meantime, the Victory Institute report signifies a durable and increasing LGBTQI+ presence across all levels of U.S. government.
Banner image: Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, right, and her wife, Amy Eshleman, left, hold hands as they participate in the 50th Chicago Pride Parade in Chicago, Sunday, June 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Amr Alfiky)