As of February 2023,[update] 32 members of the LGBT community are known to have held office in the United States Congress. In the House, 29 LGBT people held office; in the Senate, 3 held office. Two people, Tammy Baldwin and Kyrsten Sinema, served in the House and were later elected into the Senate. The earliest known LGBT congressperson was Ed Koch, who began his term in the House in 1969. The earliest known LGBT senator is Harris Wofford, who began his term in 1991. Both men were not out during their tenure: Koch's sexuality was confirmed after his death and Wofford announced his plans to marry a man over 20 years after serving in the Senate. There are no known transgender congresspeople.
There are[update] 13 openly LGBT members of the current (118th) Congress, most of whom are Democrats. Two are senators and the rest are House representatives. This constitutes the most LGBT congresspeople serving at the same time in U.S. history.
Came out after serving Posthumously identified as LGBT
|Democratic||Pennsylvania||May 8, 1991||January 3, 1995||Announced his marriage to a man in 2016, which makes him the earliest known LGBT senator.|
Lost reelection in 1994.
|Democratic||Wisconsin||January 3, 2013||Incumbent||As an openly lesbian woman, Baldwin is the first openly LGBT senator.|
|Arizona||January 3, 2019||Incumbent||Sinema is the first openly bisexual senator.|
Came out after serving Posthumously identified as LGBT
|Democratic||New York||January 3, 1969||December 31, 1977||Koch denied he was gay throughout his life, but his sexuality was confirmed in a 2022 article in The New York Times. This makes him the earliest known LGBT member of Congress|
Resigned to run successfully for mayor of New York City.
|Republican||Connecticut||January 3, 1971||May 7, 1987||After dying in office of AIDS, McKinney was outed as bisexual in his obituary.|
|Democratic||Texas||January 3, 1973||January 3, 1979||Jordan's domestic partnership with Nancy Earl was revealed in her obituary in 1996, making her the first LGBT woman in Congress (per the U.S. National Archives).|
|Democratic||Massachusetts||January 3, 1973||January 3, 1997||Came out as gay as a result of his implication in the 1983 congressional page sex scandal. He became the first openly LGBT person to win election to Congress with his reelection in 1984.|
|Republican||Maryland||August 21, 1973||January 3, 1981||Outed as gay in October 1980 while in office, making him the first openly LGBT member of Congress.|
|Republican||Mississippi||January 3, 1979||April 13, 1981||Outed as gay after being arrested on a charge of oral sodomy on February 4, 1981.|
|Democratic||Massachusetts||January 3, 1981||January 3, 2013||Came out as gay in 1987 and in 2012 became the first member of Congress in a same-sex marriage.|
|Republican||Wisconsin||January 3, 1981||January 3, 1997||Outed as gay on the floor of the House in 1994, Gunderson was the first openly gay Republican to be reelected after being outed.|
|Republican||Arizona||January 3, 1985||January 3, 2007||Came out as gay while in office after voting for the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996. He was the first openly gay person to address the Republican National Convention.|
|Republican||California||January 3, 1993||January 3, 1995||Came out as bisexual in 1998.|
Retired to run unsuccessfully for U.S. senator from California.
|Republican||Florida||January 3, 1995||September 29, 2006||Came out as gay after being implicated in a 2006 congressional page scandal.|
|Democratic||Wisconsin||January 3, 1999||January 3, 2013||Openly lesbian.|
First openly LGBT non-incumbent elected to Congress.
Retired to run successfully for U.S. senator from Wisconsin.
|Democratic||Maine||January 3, 2003||January 3, 2015||Came out as gay in 2013.|
Retired to run unsuccessfully for Governor of Maine.
|Democratic||Colorado||January 3, 2009||January 3, 2019||In 2011, Polis became the first same-sex parent in Congress.|
Retired to run successfully for Governor of Colorado.
|Republican||Illinois||January 3, 2009||March 31, 2015||Came out as gay in 2020.|
|Democratic||Rhode Island||January 3, 2011||Incumbent||Openly gay.|
|Sean Patrick Maloney
|Democratic||New York||January 3, 2013||January 3, 2023||Openly gay.|
|Democratic||Wisconsin||January 3, 2013||Incumbent||Openly gay.|
First LGBT member of Congress to replace another LGBT member of Congress (Tammy Baldwin) and the first non-incumbent in a same-sex marriage elected to Congress.
|Democratic||Arizona||January 3, 2013||January 3, 2019||First openly bisexual member of Congress.|
Retired to run successfully for U.S. Senator from Arizona.
|Democratic||California||January 3, 2013||Incumbent||Openly gay.|
First openly LGBT person of color (specifically Asian American) elected to Congress.
|Democratic–Farmer–Labor||Minnesota||January 3, 2019||Incumbent||Openly lesbian.|
The first non-incumbent LGBT parent elected to Congress.
|Democratic||Kansas||January 3, 2019||Incumbent||Openly lesbian.|
The first openly LGBT woman of color (specifically Native American) elected to Congress.
|Democratic||California||January 3, 2019||November 1, 2019||Openly bisexual.|
|Democratic||New Hampshire||January 3, 2019||Incumbent||Openly gay.|
|Democratic||New York||January 3, 2021||January 3, 2023||Along with Ritchie Torres, the first openly gay African-American elected to Congress.|
|Democratic||New York||January 3, 2021||Incumbent||Along with Mondaire Jones, the first openly gay African-American elected to Congress, and the first openly gay Hispanic member of Congress.|
|Democratic||Vermont||January 3, 2023||Incumbent||Openly lesbian.|
|Democratic||California||January 3, 2023||Incumbent||Openly gay.|
|Republican||New York||January 3, 2023||Incumbent||Openly gay.|
First openly LGBT non-incumbent Republican elected to Congress.[a]
|Democratic||Illinois||January 3, 2023||Incumbent||Openly gay.|
|Democratic||District of Columbia||January 3, 1997||January 3, 1999||The Shadow Representative for the District of Columbia is a position to facilitate the District's statehood movement and is not recognized by Congress.|
Declined to run for reelection.
Too often, our society seeks to label people by pinning them on the wall – straight, gay or in between. I don't categorize myself based on the gender of those I love. I had a half-century of marriage with a wonderful woman, and now am lucky for a second time to have found happiness.