2020 was the biggest year on record for LGBTQ candidates in the U.S., with 782 appearing on the ballot this year and 334 winning their elections, according to the Victory Fund.
“In one of the most vitriolic and unprecedented election cycles of our time, LGBTQ candidates continue winning elections in numbers and in parts of the country thought unthinkable a decade or two ago,” said Victory Fund President Annise Parker.
This means that 42.7% of LGBTQ candidates won their elections in November.
The candidates came from all over the country – there were LGBTQ candidates this year in every state except for Alabama – at all levels of government and showed a high level of diversity: 35.7% of the LGBTQ candidates this year were people of color.
Next year’s Congress will be the most queer it has ever been, with 11 representatives and senators identifying as gay, lesbian, or bisexual, up from 10 in 2018. Two representatives-elect from New York are also the first Black, gay people elected to Congress this year.
According to the Victory Fund, there were 20 transgender or non-binary candidates who won their elections this year. One of them was Delaware Senator-elect Sarah McBride, the highest ranking transgender elected official in the country.
When it comes to gender, there was also diversity among the winning candidates: 41.3% were women, 53.6% were men, and 3.0% were gender non-conforming or non-binary.
There’s only one area where the winning LGBTQ candidates did not reflect the U.S. in general: party affiliation. Of the 255 winners who ran with a major party, 248 (or 97.2%) were Democrats and only seven (or 2.7%) were Republicans. Three candidates ran with third parties, and the rest were independent or unaffiliated.
“LGBTQ people span every community – we are people of color, women, immigrants, and people with disabilities – and we are able to use that life experience to connect with voters from many backgrounds,” said Parker. “This beautiful diversity provides an opportunity to connect on some level with every single voter in America. That is the reason LGBTQ candidates are winning in unprecedented numbers, and this will only accelerate in the years ahead.”