At least 410 out LGBTQ+ candidates have run or are running for office in 2021 according to a Victory Fund report.
According to the 2021 Out on the Trail report, which tracks the number of out candidates seeking office each year, 42 of the 410 candidates have already won their bids for office, while 237 will be on the ballot this November.
The total number of out candidates represents a 7.3% increase from the number of out candidates in the last odd-numbered year election cycle (2019), when 382 out candidates ran.
Among the openly LGBTQ+ candidates who will be on the ballot in next week’s election are two queer women seeking to become the next mayors of major American cities: Sheila Nezhad is looking to become the first openly LGBTQ mayor of Minneapolis, while India Walton is seeking the same office in Buffalo.
“LGBTQ candidates are running in historic numbers and increasingly reflect the diversity of America, with more LGBTQ people of color, bisexual, queer, and non-binary leaders choosing public service as the way to make change,” said Annise Parker, President and CEO of the Victory Fund, in a statement. “Next week, we have an opportunity to elect hundreds of LGBTQ leaders who can challenge the anti-LGBTQ forces influencing school boards, city councils, and state legislatures across the country.”
She added, “As our community again faces a barrage of anti-LGBTQ bills at the state and local levels, it is imperative we elect LGBTQ people who can impact the debate and humanize LGBTQ issues for other elected leaders.”
Despite overall progress made among LGBTQ+ candidates across most states, the report does note a continuing disparity. Women of color account for only 10% of the out number of candidates, and 4% of all candidates, despite the fact that they represent 20% of the total U.S. population.