Out on the Trail 2022 Report

2022 LGBTQ Candidate Demographics Report

“LGBTQ Victory Fund is pleased to present you with our third annual Out on the Trail report – which analyzes the number and diversity of out LGBTQ candidates who ran for office in 2022. As politicians in state legislatures and on school boards levied unprecedented attacks on our community and our kids, LGBTQ leaders responded, running for office in record numbers. We saw more LGBTQ candidates of color, trans candidates, nonbinary candidates and bisexual candidates than in any other election year.  And in November, more voters than ever before will receive a ballot with the name of an LGBTQ candidate.”

Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund
October 2022

2022 Overview & Key Findings

 

At least 1,065 out LGBTQ people ran or are running for office in 2022 – the most in history – and a 5.9 percent jump since the presidential election in 2020, when 1,006 out LGBTQ candidates ran. At least 678 LGBTQ candidates will appear on the general election ballot in November, up from 574 in 2020 – an 18.1 percent increase.

Among the key findings:

  • A history-making 63.7 percent of known LGBTQ candidates won their primaries and will appear on the ballot in November, compared to 57.1 percent of candidates in 2020 and 60.1 percent in 2018.
  • LGBTQ candidates ran in all 50 states and the District of Columbia for the first time.
  • The proportion of LGBTQ candidates of color grew significantly in 2022 – accounting for 38.2 percent of all LGBTQ candidates, compared to 30.9 percent in 2020 and 28.7 percent in 2018.
  • For the first time in a midterm or presidential year, more Black LGBTQ candidates ran than Latinx LGBTQ candidates, representing 14 percent and 13.2 percent of LGBTQ candidates, respectively.
  • Candidates who are not cisgender (including transgender, nonbinary and gender non-conforming candidates) ran in record-breaking numbers, representing 13.9 percent of all LGBTQ candidates compared to 7.9 percent in 2020 and 9.1 percent in 2018.
  • 54 nonbinary and/or genderqueer candidates ran in 2022, compared to 17 in 2020 and just four in 2018.
  • Over half of LGBTQ candidates identified as gay men, a number relatively consistent with previous years, however queer-identified candidates saw the greatest growth, representing 11.2 percent of LGBTQ candidates compared to 6.8 percent in 2020 and 4.3 percent in 2018.
  • LGBTQ Victory Fund endorsed 497 candidates in 2022 – more than at any time in its 31-year history.

or more LGBTQ people ran for office in 2022

increase in LGBTQ candidates compared to 2020

or more LGBTQ candidates will be on the ballot in Nov. 2022

Race & Ethnicity of LGBTQ Candidates in 2022

LGBTQ candidates of color ran in greater numbers than ever before – representing 38.2 percent* of all LGBTQ candidates who ran in 2022 – yet they remain underrepresented among LGBTQ candidates overall (given people of color are 41 percent** of the U.S. population). For the first time in a midterm or presidential year, Black LGBTQ candidates outnumbered all other racial and ethnic groups except for white LGBTQ candidates, representing 14 percent of all LGBTQ candidates.

of LGBTQ candidates were people of color

of LGBTQ candidates were Black

of LGBTQ candidates were Latinx

of LGBTQ candidates were AAPI

* Of the 1,065 LGBTQ candidates identified in 2022, LGBTQ Victory Fund was able to verify the race and ethnicity for 1,019 of them. In 2021, it was 408 of 410; in 2020, 780 of 1006; in 2019, 341 of 382; and in 2018, 588 of 716. All graphs and percentages are based on candidates for whom this information was known.

** According to U.S. Census data from July 2021.

Sexual Orientation of LGBTQ Candidates in 2022

Queer-identified candidates saw dramatic proportional growth among LGBTQ candidates in 2022*, while the number and proportion of lesbian candidates declined (18.2 percent of LGBTQ candidates compared to 26.7 percent in 2020). Bisexual candidates also grew in proportion and number, yet gay men remained the dominant sexual orientation, representing 55 percent of LGBTQ candidates.

of LGBTQ candidates were gay men

of LGBTQ candidates were lesbian

of LGBTQ candidates were bisexual

of LGBTQ candidates identified as queer

* Of the 1,065 LGBTQ candidates identified in 2022, Victory Fund was able to determine the exact sexual orientation for 975 of them. In 2021, it was 380 of 410; in 2020, 764 of 1006; in 2019, 351 of 382; and in 2018, 602 of 716. All graphs and percentages are based on candidates for whom this information was known.

Gender Identity & Sex of LGBTQ Candidates in 2022

The number of LGBTQ candidates in 2022 who did not identify as cisgender increased significantly* since 2020, representing 13.9 percent of LGBTQ candidates. Of those, the number of trans candidates increased slightly from 4.4 percent of LGBTQ candidates in 2020 to 6.3 percent in 2022. Yet nonbinary and/or genderqueer candidates saw the largest increase, accounting for 5.3 percent of LGBTQ candidates compared to 2.2 percent in 2020 and just 0.6 percent in 2018.

of LGBTQ candidates were not cisgender

of LGBTQ candidates were transgender

of LGBTQ candidates were nonbinary/genderqueer

of LGBTQ candidates were Two Spirit

* Of the 1,065 LGBTQ candidates identified in 2022, LGBTQ Victory Fund was able to verify the gender identities for 1,026 of them. In 2021, it was 407 of 410; in 2020, 780 of 1006; in 2019, 341 of 382; and in 2018, 588 of 716. All graphs and percentages are based on candidates for whom this information was known.

LGBTQ Candidates by State & Position in 2022

For the first time in U.S. history, LGBTQ candidates ran in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Additionally, LGBTQ candidates ran in Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. More LGBTQ candidates ran for the U.S. Congress than ever before – at least 119 – and 77 ran for school boards as LGBTQ students and families faced increasing attacks in those bodies.

LGBTQ candidates ran for state legislative positions

LGBTQ candidates ran for local positions

LGBTQ candidates ran for school boards

LGBTQ candidates ran for statewide office

LGBTQ Candidates by Party in 2022

As in previous years, the vast majority of LGBTQ candidates ran as Democrats, with just 4.5 percent running as Republicans.

of LGBTQ candidates ran as Democrats

of LGBTQ candidates ran as Republicans

of LGBTQ candidates ran as Independents

of LGBTQ candidates ran with the Green Party

2022 Victory Fund Endorsed Candidates

LGBTQ Victory Fund endorsed 497 candidates in 2022 – the most in its 31-year history. Of those, 438 will appear on the ballot in November or already won their general election races.

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LGBTQ Victory Fund works to achieve and sustain equality by increasing the number of openly LGBTQ elected officials at all levels of government while ensuring they reflect the diversity of those they serve.