The following is a list of the first openly LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender) holders of elected or appointed political office in Canada.

LGBT people have served at all three main levels of political office in Canada: municipal, provincial and federal. In addition to the milestones noted below, Canada has also had a number of prominent politicians who were not out as LGBT during their careers in politics, either coming out after they retired or being officially outed only in posthumous biographical sources, as well as openly LGBT politicians whose election or appointment to office was not a historically significant first as other LGBT people had already held the same office before them.

As of 2021, Nunavut is the only province or territory in Canada which has not been represented by any known LGBT politicians at any level of government.

First overall

Federal

Parliament

At least two federal MPs who predated Robinson, Heward Grafftey and Charles Lapointe, and one who was first elected alongside him in 1979, Ian Waddell, are known to have come out as gay or bisexual after their retirement from politics.[16][17][18]

By provincial delegation

As of 2015, seven of Canada's ten provinces have elected at least one LGBT MP to the House of Commons or had an LGBT senator appointed from their province.

Cabinet

Parties

Provincial and territorial

As of 2021, only New Brunswick, Saskatchewan and Nunavut have never had a person serve in their provincial legislature who was openly gay during their term in office, although both Saskatchewan (Andrew Thomson) and New Brunswick (Richard Hatfield) have had legislators who came out as LGBT after leaving the legislature or were outed as LGBT after their deaths.

The provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Nova Scotia and Quebec and the territory of Yukon have had more than one LGBT member, and all except Nova Scotia have had both gay men and lesbian women serve in the legislatures; Nova Scotia to date has only elected LGBTQ women, with no out gay men yet serving in the legislature. The other provinces and territories which have had out LGBT legislators have had only one each to date. Alberta and Manitoba have had elected MLAs who identified as non-binary.

Some figures, including Ian Scott, Keith Norton, Phil Gillies and Dominic Agostino in Ontario and Claude Charron and Guy Joron in Quebec, predated the firsts listed here but were not out to the general public during their time in politics.

To date, most LGBT people who have served in provincial or territorial legislatures have represented urban districts in larger cities, while very few have ever served in a purely rural district.[4]

Municipal

Overall firsts

Mayors

One mayor, Charlotte Whitton in Ottawa (1951–56, 1961–64), has been the subject of unresolved debate about her sexual orientation. Whitton spent much of her adult life in a Boston marriage-style living arrangement with another woman, Margaret Grier; in 1999, 24 years after Whitton's death, the National Archives of Canada publicly released many intimate personal letters between Whitton and Grier. The release of these papers sparked much debate in the Canadian media about whether Whitton and Grier's relationship could be characterized as lesbian, or merely as an emotionally intimate friendship between two unmarried women.[32] Whitton never publicly identified herself as lesbian during her lifetime, and thus could not be considered Canada's first out LGBT mayor regardless of the status of her relationship with Grier.

City councillors


School Board Trustee

By province

Alberta

British Columbia

Manitoba

New Brunswick

Newfoundland and Labrador

Nova Scotia

Ontario

Quebec

Saskatchewan

See also

References

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