It would take more than 20,000 LGBT people elected to reach equality
It would take tens of thousands of LGBT officials elected to reach full equality, a new study has found.
Last month saw an incredible election for LGBT people, as barriers were broken all over the country.
In Minnesota, Andrea Jenkins became the first trans person of colour elected to any office, while in Seattle, Jenny Durkan became the first out lesbian mayor in the city’s history.
Lisa Middleton and Tyler Titus also became the first openly trans person to be elected in California and Pennsylvania, respectively.
Meanwhile, Palm Springs in California finished election day with an entirely LGBT council, made up of two gay men, a trans woman and a bisexual woman.
But, it seems, there is still an unimaginable amount of progress still to be made.
According to a new report from the Victory Institute – which encourages and trains LGBT people to run for political office – equality is 21,307 successful elections away.
That’s how many LGBT officials it would take to reach 4% of all elected representatives, which is Gallup’s latest estimate of how many LGBT adults live in the US.
The organisation has found that there are currently 448 known LGBT+ elected officials.
This works out at just 0.1% of all representatives nationwide.
So rather than one in 25 officials, as it should be proportionally, LGBT+ people constitute one in 1,000.
Another concerning statistic is that even among the LGBT officials, diversity is lacking.
The report states that “just 20.5% of LGBTQ elected officials are people of colour.
“1.8 percent of LGBTQ elected officials are transgender.”
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The majority are “white, cisgender, gay men,” it adds, showing that progress needs to be made in many different ways.
“The severe underrepresentation of LGBTQ people in elected positions – especially LGBTQ people of color and transgender people – is an urgent call to arms for LGBTQ leaders to run for office and be our voice in the halls of power,” said Aisha C. Moodie-Mills, CEO of the Victory Institute.
“When LGBTQ elected officials are in the room, it humanises our lives, changes the debate and leads to more inclusive legislation,” she added.
“The Out for America report documents the enormous work that needs to be done to ensure our people are in those rooms – and the long road ahead before equitable representation is achieved.”