Representation of Black LGBTQ+ people in elected positions has increased significantly over the last five years, being elected in record numbers, a newly published report found.
The LGBTQ Victory Institute’s “Powering Equality” report reflects promising news for Black queer people running for office during a time when LGBTQ+ rights advocates say the LGBTQ+ community is under attack.
While the number of elected people who identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community has increased by 108 percent since 2018, researchers found that the number of Black-elected LGBTQ+ officials has grown by 317 percent. Whereas in 2018, 30 Black LGBTQ+ elected officials had been voted into office, in 2023, that number is at least 125.
“Black LGBTQ Americans have never had equitable representation in government – with the wounds to show for it,” said Annise Parker, president & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Institute, in a news release. “Despite bearing the brunt of recent increases in homophobia, transphobia, and racism, Black LGBTQ leaders continue to run for office and serve in record numbers.”
According to the report, Black queer and trans women stood out, increasing their representation by 256 percent compared to 89 percent overall for all LGBTQ+ women.
Of the 415 out LGBTQ+ women elected across the country, 57 are Black, compared to 16 out of 219 LGBTQ+ women in 2018.
"Black LGBTQ elected officials – Black LGBTQ women, in particular – have fueled recent increases in LGBTQ representation in government,” Parker said. “These leaders are not just disrupting the status quo by fighting for real, generational change, they are inspiring more leaders to either come out publicly or answer the call to public service themselves.”
She also explained that despite the strides forward reflected in this report, much more work must be done regarding representation.
“While we have a long way to go, the past five years prove that the momentum of history is on our side. We as a community must come together and answer this rallying cry by recruiting and training more Black LGBTQ leaders ready to serve in public office,” Parker added.