Assuming, as some researchers do, that gay, bisexual, or transgender Americans represent 4.5 percent of the population and black Americans represent 12 percent of the LGBTQ community, Congress would need three Black LBGTQ members to reflect the country’s demographics.
Other researchers believe that 10 percent of the US population is LGBTQ, thanks to a growing self-identity among younger Americans and black Americans. According to Andrew Reynolds, professor at Princeton University’s International and Public School, if true, the six openly gay and black members would more accurately reflect the wider population.
Either way, Professor Reynolds said the Torres and Mr. Jones’ victories represented “a moment of significant psychological change in who we feel could be elected politicians”.
Mr. Torres agrees. “Gay Incorporated has historically been dominated by white homosexuals,” he said. “Thus, the victories of Mondaire and myself represent progress not only outside the LGBTQ community, but also from within”.
Researchers and LGBTQ supporters see other evidence that Americans have come a long way since Tammy Baldwin became the first openly gay man elected to Congress in 1998. Previous Members were exposed – or removed – while in office.
The National Assembly currently has nine LGBTQ members; Mr. Magni said seven whites, one Asian American and one Native American.
American voters’ openness toward gay or bisexual politicians now extends to blacks, as evidenced by the election of Lori Lightfoot, black and lesbian, as mayor. Chicago; The election of Sharice Davids, the first lesbian Native American, was elected to Congress and the victories of Torres and Mr. Jones.
“With their triumph, we will now have a more inclusive Congress,” said Alphonso B. David, head of Human Rights Campaign. “We will have a Congress that reflects more of our community’s diversity and we will have a Congress that protects all of our interests.”