Hopkins’ and Bowens’ strong showings in the July 19 primary has focused attention on the Democratic Party’s efforts to be more inclusive from a gender standpoint. The DCC voted in 2018 to allow nonbinary candidates to identify as such, and it subsequently established a third gender category to help guide committee elections. The party had required an equal number of male and female DCC members, but now says nonbinary candidates must be factored in.
LGBTQ people make up 0.02% of elected officials in the nation, according to Sean Meloy, vice president of political programs at the Victory Fund, a national organization dedicated to electing openly LGBTQ candidates. Meloy said that in the last five years, the country has gone from no trans elected officials at any level to double digits in 2022. There were 11 nonbinary elected officials in the United States as of June, according to the Victory Fund’s database.
Meloy said hearing about the success in Maryland makes him feel great.
“We have a diverse party,” he said. “We need to make sure that the full diversity of our community is represented.”