Ed Flanagan Becomes America’s First Out LGBTQ+ Statewide Official
First elected as Vermont State Auditor in 1993, Ed Flanagan came out in 1996 before seeking re-election, when he received enthusiastic backing from LGBTQ+ Victory Fund. When he won his election, he became the first out LGBTQ+ person ever elected to statewide office in the United States. He served until 2001.
After a few unsuccessful campaigns, Flanagan was elected to the Vermont State Senate in 2004 and served until 2011.
“It is hugely important to have a living, breathing member of the gay and lesbian community there on the Senate floor,” Flanagan told the Detroit News, September 20, 1999. “In debating health care and defense policy, they will remember that this Flanagan guy is gay. After I have gained respect, that’s when the bigotry will be evaporated.”