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Do Voters Prefer Lesbian Candidates to Gay Male Politicians?


Annise Parker, the former mayor of Houston, says lesbian candidates win at higher percentage rates compared to gay male candidates.

This year has seen more lesbians than ever before elected as mayor of major cities in the United States.

Annise Parker, the former mayor of Houston, was the first openly LGBTQ person to serve as mayor of a major U.S. city. Parker left office in 2016 and now serves as the president and CEO of the Victory Fund, a political action committee dedicated to increasing the number of LGBTQ people elected to office.

Speaking on The Ten podcast, this week, Mayor Parker points out that while the vast majority of candidates the LGBTQ community puts forth are gay men -- just as the majority of politicians in the U.S. are men -- lesbian and female bisexual candidates actually win at a higher percentage rate compared to gay male candidates.

The reason for this is complex, Parker says, "Often part of that is that women candidates, in general, tend to wait until they're a little bit later in their career. They have a little more gravitas, a little more experience before they enter politics."

Parker goes on to compare Chicago and Tampa, which recently elected Lori Lightfoot and Jane Castor, respectively, pointing out both mayors' background in law enforcement.

"Jane Castor was the police chief for a number of years and spent her entire adult life as a police officer, working her way up the ladder in Tampa. She runs for mayor against a self-funding, multimillionaire and the voters looked at her resume. It wasn't about her sexual orientation, it was who's the best candidate? Same in Chicago. And that's what we work really hard to achieve."

Advocate editor-in-chief Zach Stafford speaks with Parker about why we're seeing this new wave of lesbians mayors being elected on The Ten podcast this week. Click here to listen, only on the Luminary app.

The Ten is The Advocate's weekly LGBTQ news podcast hosted by Editor-in-Chief, Zach Stafford. New episodes come out every Thursday. Download and listen on the Luminary app.

(RELATED: Watch Annise Parker Talks About Why LGBTQ People Must Engage in Politics)

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