Pride & Progress and the LGBTQ+ Political Hall of Fame

Launched in May 2021 on the 30th anniversary of LGBTQ+ Victory Fund’s founding, Pride & Progress and the LGBTQ+ Political Hall of Fame seek to fulfill LGBTQ+ Victory Institute’s mission to honor the LGBTQ+ leaders who fought for our equality and to inspire more LGBTQ+ people to pursue careers in public service.

About Pride & Progress

Pride & Progress is edited by Jarod Keith and Carlton Taylor, and written by Austin Clark, Elyssa Goswick, Elliot Imse, Jarod Keith, Sarah LeDonne, Karen Ocamb, and Carlton Taylor.

Drawing on internal LGBTQ+ Victory Fund documents, first-hand material submissions, interviews, and academic research, the authors of Pride & Progress present a chronological history of the movement for LGBTQ+ political power and representation. Major portions of Pride & Progress were adapted from the 2016 book Representation Matters: How Victory Fund, Victory Institute, and LGBT Leaders Are Transforming America by Karen Ocamb. Among the most frequently consulted written sources are The Children of Harvey Milk (2019) by Andrew Reynolds, Out and Running: Gay and Lesbian Candidates, Elections, and Policy Representation (2010) by Donald P. Haider-Markel, The Deviant's War: The Homosexual vs. The United States of America (2020) by Eric Cervini and OutHistory.com. The LGBTQ Archive at the University of North Texas Library (which houses the William Waybourn Collection) and the Jose Sarria Foundation were helpful in providing source materials for Pride & Progress.

Pride & Progress is a living resource and is updated regularly.

About the LGBTQ+ Political Hall of Fame

Twenty former LGBTQ+ elected officials, appointed officials and candidates were inaugurated into the Hall of Fame as the founding class and U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin was inducted as a Lifetime Achievement Inductee. Each December, Victory Institute inducts three more members into the Political Hall of Fame.

Sherry Harris, LGBTQ+ Victory Fund’s first ever endorsed candidate, became the first Black out lesbian ever elected in the U.S. when she won her race for Seattle City Council in 1991.

LGBTQ+ Victory Fund

In 1991, LGBTQ+ Victory Fund was founded to increase the number of out LGBTQ+ elected officials at every level of government. At the time, only a handful of LGBTQ+ people were elected anywhere in the world and few ran for office every year. More than 30 years later, LGBTQ+ Victory Fund has helped elect thousands of LGBTQ+ leaders to public office in every state, from governors to U.S. senators to big city mayors.

Danica Roem, trained by LGBTQ+ Victory Institute and endorsed by LGBTQ+ Victory Fund, became the first out trans person elected to and served in a state legislature in 2017.

LGBTQ+ Victory Institute

In 1993, LGBTQ+ Victory Institute was launched as a non-profit organization dedicated to training LGBTQ+ people to run for office and help LGBTQ+ leaders achieve careers in public service. It has since trained thousands of LGBTQ+ people to run for office through its four-day intensive Candidate & Campaign Trainings, built a strong network of LGBTQ+ elected officials nationwide and secured appointments in presidential administrations for hundreds of LGBTQ+ people. Its international work includes the largest gathering of LGBTQ+ international elected officials in the world and campaign trainings in countries across the globe.

Learn more about LGBTQ+ Victory Institute and its work at victoryinstitute.org.

Ritchie Torres became the first Afro-Latinx out LGBTQ+ member of Congress with LGBTQ+ Victory Fund’s support in 2020.

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