Queer cis women do better than queer cis men at elections
A review by the LGBTQ Victory Institute reported that candidates of queer cis women have done better in previous elections as compared to queer cis men.
In their review of the 1,088 LGBTQ candidates their Victory Fund had endorsed from 2016 to 2020, queer cisgender women had a 69 percent victory rate over 59 percent of queer cisgender men.
The Victory Institute, which supports LGBTQ elected officials and political candidates in elections, defines queer to encompass the sexual orientations of lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, and others that are not heterosexual.
The challenges faced by queer cis women
Another revelation was that queer cisgender women only accounted for 35 percent of endorsed candidates since 2016. However, cisgender male candidates accounted for 59 percent.
This review doesn’t include LGBTQ candidates the organization doesn’t endorse.
However, their analysis of both endorsed and unendorsed LGBTQ candidates during the last 2020 elections suggests their candidates are representative of the overall LGBTQ candidate population.
In an interview with NBC News, Annise Parker, president and CEO of the Victory Institute and former mayor of Houston, lamented that “LGBTQ women face unique barriers to running for office.”
Parker said they face “the same sexist campaign tactics and misperceptions of their own qualifications as other women, combined with anti-LGBTQ bias” but they overcome these obstacles, which makes them strong contenders.
Why do queer cis women do better?
Parker explained that, “Their experiences as women and as LGBTQ people often make them better politicians, portraying an authenticity and sensibility that resonates with voters.”
“LGBTQ women candidates tend to wait to run for positions they are qualified– and often overqualified– to hold and perhaps don’t trigger the same negative stereotypes directed at LGBTQ men,” Parker said.
She added, “LGBTQ women make fantastic candidates, and when we run, we win. But we will not achieve representation equitable to LGBTQ men until we start running in much higher numbers.”
A previous Victory Institute report noted that LGBTQ elected officials represent around 0.19 percent of all elected officials nationwide, or a total of 974.
To match the estimated 18 million LGBTQ adults in the US, or approximately 5.6 percent of the total adult population, there needs to be 28,128 more LGBTQ candidates elected to office.
How other LGBTQ women fare in elections
The Victory Institute further reported that transgender female candidates were more likely to succeed as compared to transgender male candidates, with a 54 percent success rate versus 18 percent.
Meanwhile, nonbinary and gender-nonconforming candidates did even better with a 64 percent success rate.
However, the number of transgender and nonbinary candidates is relatively small. According to the Victory Institute, there were only 39 transgender women and 11 transgender men among the 1,000 candidates they tracked.
Likewise, there were only 11 nonbinary or gender-nonconforming candidates over a 5-year period.
Given this, queer cisgender women number only 37 percent of LGBTQ elected officials, transgender women are only four percent, two percent are nonbinary or gender-nonconforming, and around 0.5 percent are transgender men.
Queer cisgender men make up 56 percent of LGBTQ elected officials, though this is also severely underrepresented as compared to all elected officials.