Advertisement

A new survey has revealed that the anti-LGBTQ+ legislative wave is pushing more trans people to run for office. The Victory Institute, an advocacy group that supports LGBTQ+ candidates for office, released a report last week that examines the “motivations, experiences, and challenges of LGBTQ+ candidates in the United States.” Conducted alongside the LGBTQ+ Politics Research Initiative at Loyola University, it surveyed 474 candidates from 49 states, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico about what it’s like to be an LGBTQ+ person running for office today. Most candidates (79.3%) said that their top motivation to run was simply a desire to improve their local community. Yet trans people were the most likely demographic to cite anti-LGBTQ+ legislation as a top motivation, with 14.3% of trans women and 10.3% of gender-nonconforming, genderqueer, and nonbinary respondents citing the legislative wave as their top factor. Almost half of LGBTQ+ candidates also cited a desire to increase LGBTQ+ representation in office as a top motivation (45.8%). The year 2022 saw the highest number of queer and trans candidates in history, with at least one out LGBTQ+ person running for office in every state. Since 2017, when the Victory Institute began releasing data on LGBTQ+ candidates, the number of out LGBTQ+ elected officials has almost doubled, from 448 in 2017 to 1,043 in 2022.