In 2015, I conducted a project (coauthored with Andrew Reynolds) to examine the success rates of transgender and gender-variant candidates for office around the world. We developed an original dataset of nearly 130 unique candidates (as of Nov. 2015) over nearly 40 years representing at least 30 countries. I presented this research to the British Parliament, London School of Economics, and the 2015 International LGBT Leaders Conference.
I continue to track transgender candidates in the United States,
often with the help of people around the country who take the time to contact me. Thank you!
List of Transgender &
Nonbinary U.S. Candidates
Candidacies - 2020: 40 | 2019: 21 | 2018: 53 | 2017: 25
Victories - 2020: 2 so far | 2019: 13 | 2018: 9 | 2017: 10
Last updated Wednesday, August 5, 2020
8:30 am Central
Danielle VanHelsing (I) - Maine (general Nov 3)
Cassandra Martineau (Green) - Connecticut 2
Melina Rayna Barratt - Florida 5 (primary Aug 18)
Alex Hoffman (D) - Rhode Island 1 (primary Sept 8)
Sarah McBride (D) - Delaware 1 (primary Sept 15)
Shauna O'Toole (D) - New York 54 (general Nov 3; primary was canceled)
*Melissa Sue Robinson (D) - Idaho 13 (general Nov 3)
Davin Sokup (D) (pictured above) - Minnesota 20 (did not receive party endorsement needed to advance in May)
Lisa Bunker (D) [Incumbent] - New Hampshire Rockingham 18 (primary Sept 8)
Gerri Cannon (D) [Incumbent] - New Hampshire Strafford 18 (primary Sept 8)
Jamie Dufour (D) - Vermont Bennington-4 (primary Aug 11)
Kim Coco Iwamoto (D) - Hawaii 26 (primary Aug 8)
Mia Lozada (D) - Connecticut 3 (primary Aug 11)
Ember Quinn (D) - Vermont Chittenden-10 (primary Aug 11)
Taylor Small (D) - Vermont Chittenden-6-7 (primary Aug 11)
Rosemary Ketchum - Wheeling, WV
Other Local Offices
Ian Dent (D) - Randolph County IN, County Coroner
Peyton Rose Michelle (D) - Louisiana Democratic State Central Committee District 046A (won in July)
Elisa Crespo (D) announced she will run for city council in the Bronx (New York) in 2021.
Monica DePaul (D) briefly ran for Florida's 4th Congressional district, but withdrew prior to the August 2020 primary.
This is the policy report format of this research project, published in October 2015 by the LGBTQ Representation and Rights Research Initiative. The data regarding candidates (at the time of publication) is included in the report's appendix. If you know of someone we missed, please email me!
Related Press Coverage
"West Virginia, Louisiana elect first openly transgender women to political positions." The Hill. Anagha Srikanth. July 13.
"In the wake of Hallquist's historic run, 3 transgender women run for House seats." VTDigger. Kit Norton. Jun 2.
"Transgender candidates won big in elections last night." Out Magazine. Matt Baume. Nov 6.
"Rainbow Wave 2.0: Nearly 100 LGBTQ candidates claim victory in Tuesday's elections." NBC News. Tim Fitzsimmons. Nov 6.
"Over 150 LGBTQ candidates claim victory in midterm elections." NBC News. Julie Moreau. Nov 7.
"Our Political Party System May Be Binary But Our Candidate's Gender Need Not Be." Daily Grab Back. Oct 23.
"‘I’m Not Running Because I’m Trans’: Meet the Men Fighting to Build Power One State Legislature Seat at a Time." Rewire.News. s.e. smith. Oct 5.
"Transgender candidates could make history in upcoming races." Reuters. Daniel Trotta. Aug 10.
"For Trans Candidates, Even Losing is Winning." The Advocate. Jacob Anderson-Minshall. July 26.
"Where Are the Trans Men in Politics?" HuffPost. Natalie Vikhrov. June 2.
"For LGBTQ community, 2017 was a mixed bag." NBC News. Brooke Sopelsa and John Paul Brammer. Jan 2.
"LGBTQ Political Candidates Score Historic Victories Across U.S." NBC News. Julie Moreau. Nov 8.
"Wins for trans candidates seen as nationwide clarion call." Washington Blade. Chris Johnson. Nov 8.
"Out for votes: Battle over rights inspires more U.S. transgender candidates." Reuters. Letitia Stein. Oct 31.
"The Second Coming Out: Trans Candidates and the Quest for Public Service." Esquire Magazine. Nico Lang. Oct 25.
"For some transgender Texans, bathroom bill fight spurs bids for office." Texas Tribune. Emma Platoff. Sept 20.
"How Dan Patrick's bathroom bill galvanized transgender Texans." Dallas Morning News. Lauren McGaughy. Aug 20.
"Transgender Candidate Danica Roem Wins Virginia Primary, Makes History." NBC News. Julie Moreau. June 14.
"Will 2017 Be the 'Year of the Trans Candidate'?" NBC News. Julie Moreau. June 12.
"Trump bump? More transgender candidates seek public office." NBC News. Julie Moreau. April.
Podcast: Dialogues on Democracy. International Foundation for Electoral Systems. June.
"This map shows the 31 countries where transgender and gender-variant candidates have run for office since 1977." The Washington Post, The Monkey Cage. December.
"UNC LGBTQ Representation and Rights Initiative Publishes First Report on Transgender Officials." UNC Global. December.
"Electing transgender officials: A new frontier in politics." The Washington Blade. November.