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Number of openly LGBTQ elected officials rose nearly 25 percent since 2018: report
There are close to 700 known LGBTQ elected officials across the U.S., according to a new analysis, marking a nearly 25 percent increase since 2018.
In its 2019 Out for America report, the Victory Institute found that, since last year, the total of openly LGBTQ elected officials rose 24.9 percent, increasing from 559 to 698 people nationwide.
"Equally notable are increases among the most underrepresented in the LGBTQ community over the past year - including people of color, bisexual, transgender and queer people, and cisgender women," the report says.
The most notable increase came from bisexual individuals, with representation increasing by 126 percent, from 15 to 34. Queer representation doubled from 12 to 24, and transgender elected officials grew by nearly 54 percent, the report says.
The number of LGBTQ elected officials who identify as black, African American or Afro-Caribbean jumped more than 43 percent, from 30 to 43 people, while Latinx LGBTQ representation jumped from 58 to 74, more than 27 percent.
Despite this progress, the organization said "diversifying the pipeline of upcoming LGBTQ leaders must remain a priority" to achieve "equitable representation for the community as a whole."
While 4.5 percent of the U.S. population identifies as LGBTQ, individuals from this community make up less than 1 percent of U.S. elected officials. To achieve equitable representation, the organization says, "America needs to elect 22,688 more LGBTQ elected officials."
"This absence of LGBTQ voices from legislative bodies, judicial positions and executive offices allows bigoted legislators to push forward anti-LGBTQ laws and policies that further marginalize the community," says the report, released during Pride Month. "Achieving equitable representation is crucial to ending these attacks -but there is a long road ahead."