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2021 Sees Increase in LGBTQ Candidates Running for Office, Report Finds

LGBTQ Victory Fund’s new Out On the Trail report found an exponential increase in LGBTQ representation in electoral politics on the local, state, and federal levels this year.

According to the report, which was released on Tuesday (October 26), at least 410 out candidates ran for office this year, a 7.3 percent increase from 2019. 237 or more will be on the ballot in November, a 18.5 percent increase from 2019.

“LGBTQ people are running for office in historic numbers and when elected they transform governments and communities,” Mayor Annise Parker, the CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund, said in a press release. “While the growth in LGBTQ candidates is encouraging, America must still elect 28,000 more LGBTQ elected officials to achieve equitable representation. We need more LGBTQ people to run because when they are in positions of power, they transform the debate, change hearts and minds, and advance more inclusive policies and legislation.”

Along with an overall increase in LGBTQ representation, there was also an increase in specifically queer, nonbinary, and trans candidates. Queer candidates increased from 25 to 62, nonbinary from 5 to 18, trans men from 3 to 6, and trans women from 16 to 20.

These LGBTQ candidates were also more racially diverse than in 2019. 36 percent of this year’s LGBTQ candidates identify as people of color, making this group more diverse than U.S. candidates overall. However, women of color remained underrepresented, making up only 10 percent of LGBTQ candidates and four percent of overall candidates despite making up 20 percent of the U.S. population. Despite this, there was still an increase in racial diversity from 2019, with the number of Black LGBTQ candidates increasing by 55 percent from 47 to 73, and LGBTQ Asian and Pacific Islander candidates increasing from 5 to 12.

LGBTQ candidates ran in 39 states this year. Georgia produced the fourth most LGBTQ candidates this year with 23 candidates alongside Ohio, following New York with 50, Massachusetts with 39, and Pennsylvania with 26.

To surpass the 169 LGBTQ candidates who were elected in 2019, 128 must win on Election Day, November 2. 42 LGBTQ candidates have already won their elections this year.

Read the full report here.