Report shows 21 percent increase in LGBTQ elected officials

The number of openly LGBTQ elected officials in the U.S. increased by 21 percent over the past year, according to a new report from the LGBTQ Victory Institute released Thursday. 

The findings, which were part of the group's Out for America 2020 digital report, showed the number of bisexual elected officials increased by 53 percent, while the number of queer-identified individuals elected to office rose by 71 percent. 

The report did not show an increase in representation for transgender men, however, representation for trans women grew increased by 40 percent. 

LGBTQ representation in state legislatures grew by 9 percent over the past year, while the number of LGBTQ mayors increased by 35 percent. 

The report also found that the increase in representation for LGBTQ elected officials of color grew at a similar rate to LGBTQ elected officials in general. 

However, the group's president and CEO, former Houston Mayor Annise Parker, acknowledged that there was still work to be done to strengthen LGBTQ representation in elected offices across the board. 

"The hateful legislation targeting our community in city councils, state legislatures and at the federal level is a byproduct of this gap in representation," Parker said in a statement. "Allied elected officials are critically important. But when LGBTQ elected officials are in the halls of power, they change the hearts and minds of their lawmaker colleagues, defeat anti-LGBTQ bills, and inspire more inclusive legislation." 

The report found that 22,544 more LGBTQ candidates must be elected in order to reach equal representation in government in the U.S. Currently LGBTQ officials make up only 0.17 percent of elected positions in the country. 

The new findings come as the LGBTQ community celebrates a number of key victories in the 2020 primaries. 

Mondaire Jones (D) is on track to become the first openly Black, LGBTQ member of Congress after winning his primary in New York's deeply blue 17th District. New York City Councilman Ritchie Torres (D) is also on track to become Congress's first openly, Afro-Latino LGBTQ lawmaker, leading in the race to represent New York's 15th District. 

Meanwhile, in West Virginia, Rosemary Ketchum became the state's first openly transgender elected official in the state last month, serving on the Wheeling City Council. And in Louisiana, Peyton Rose Michelle became the first openly transgender woman elected in the state. Michelle serves on the state's Democratic State Central Committee.