Princeton University: New Scholarly Database Documents the Rise in Publicly Identifying LGBTQI+ Elected Officials Across the Globe
A newly opened database launched by researchers at the School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) at Princeton shows the dramatic rise in the number of self-identifying LGBTQI+ people serving in public office around the world since the mid-1970s.
Ranging from the few “out” officials in the time of San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk until now, the database in the new Queer Politics website shows the steady growth of people in office who publicly identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, pansexual, transgender, non-binary, gender-non-conforming, queer and intersex. “Nothing in the world exists like this,” said Andrew Reynolds, a senior research scholar in SPIA and politics who founded the Queer Politics at Princeton (QP@P) program.
The database, which has records back to 1976 — the year of the first out gay parliamentarian — focuses on officials at the national, state and provincial levels (e.g., members of Parliament and Congress, governors, and mayors) but to date not lower-level elected officials. It breaks down elected officials by nation.
Users can scroll over each country on a world map to view the total number of representatives and their level of government. Users can also filter searches based on the sexual or gender identity (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, etc.), level of government, party ideology, and office.
The Queer Politics website and database were created with help from Princeton University research assistants Paul-Louis Blondi ’24, Rooya Rahin ’23, and 2022 Rhodes scholar Josh Babu ’22. Web design was led by Jill Moraca. The project received funding from SPIA and the Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance.
Direct to Queer Politics Website
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