Thirteen members of the 118th Congress identify as LGBTQ, which sets the record for the most openly queer Congress members. Eleven of these Congress members serve in the House of Representatives and the remaining two serve in the Senate.
According to Pew Research, the amount of openly LGBTQ+ Congress members has more than tripled since 2012. This group of Congress members represents 2% of Congress, while about 6.5% of the US population identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual.
The first ever openly gay member of Congress was Barney Frank, D-Mass, who came out while in office in 1987. Frank served in the House of Representatives for almost three more decades until 2013.
The first openly gay member of the senate was Democrat Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, sworn in in 2013. Baldwin told Politico in 2012, “You know, what I would say in terms of crashing through that glass ceiling is, you know, if you’re not in the room the conversation is about you. If you’re in the room, the conversation is with you. That does transform things. But as I said last night, I didn’t run to make history. I ran to make a difference.”
Democrat-turned-independent Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona become the first openly bisexual member of Congress after being sworn into the Senate in 2019.
Currently, there are three lesbians serving in the House of Representatives, including Rep. Becca Balint, the first woman and openly LGBTQ representative of Vermont, Sharice Davids, the first openly LGBTQ woman of color elected to Congress, and Angie Craig, the first non-incumbent LGBTQ parent elected to Congress.
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