This year was a huge win for LGBT candidates. According to new data, 184 LGBT candidates have won elected offices — more than any other odd-numbered election year in the United States.
The previous record was 169 in 2019.
Victory Fund released new data that shows demographic breakdowns of the LGBT candidates. Of the 184 LGBTQ candidates who won, 112 were non-incumbents, and 73 of 89 incumbents won. When they take office, there will be approximately 1,038 LGBTQ elected officials in the U.S. — surpassing 1,000 for the first time.
There are currently 995 out elected officials serving, according to the Victory Institute.
The key findings show the breakdown of the 430 known out LGBTQ candidates who ran in 2021 — looking at sexual orientation, gender identity, race/ethnicity, incumbency and endorsement status.
Transgender women won 63% of their races, the highest win rate of any gender identity. Cisgender women won 51% of their races.
“Trans women candidates were enormously successful at the ballot box — outperforming candidates of all other gender identities and further highlighting the disconnect between voters and the politicians who promote anti-trans agendas,” said Mayor Annise Parker, president and CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund. “Beyond that notable exception, LGBTQ candidates who face the most structural barriers were often those who struggled most at the ballot box. But many are first-time candidates who will run again and the experiences from this year will be invaluable in their next campaign.”
Other key findings from the data include:
- Forty-six percent of known out LGBTQ candidates won their races in 2021, including 59% of Victory Fund endorsed candidates
- Lesbian candidates outperformed all other sexual orientation groups, winning 60% of their elections
- Cisgender women outperformed cisgender men by seven percentage points: 51% compared to 44%
- Thirty-seven percent of LGBTQ candidates were people of color and 37% won their races, with Asian and Pacific Islander candidates winning 58% of races
- Non-binary (16) and queer-identified people (53) ran, but their win rates were 28% and 35%, respectively
“... As anti-LGBTQ politicians introduce hundreds of hateful bills and extreme right-wing activists attack trans students in school board meetings, it is imperative we elect more LGBTQ people to counter their efforts,” said Parker in the press release. “There is no better weapon than an LGBTQ elected official who can humanize our issues and lives for their legislative colleagues and constituents.”
When the newly elected officials take office, LGBT people will hold just 0.2% of all elected positions in the U.S., despite representing at least 5.6% of the U.S. population. Currently LGBT elected officials hold just 0.19% of positions, according to the Victory Institute.