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Lesbian Mayors are Having a Moment

Updated: Dec 1, 2022

Let's keep it going! There's more to come!

Tampa, Florida, elected a new mayor on April 23: former police chief Jane Castor, an out lesbian who now holds the distinction of being the first out LGBTQ candidate to be elected mayor of a major southeastern U.S. city (if one doesn’t count Texas as part of the southeast, since out lesbian Annise Parker – now head of the LGBTQ Victory Fund -- previously served as mayor of Houston, Texas, a distinctly larger city than Tampa).

Tampa is the nation’s 53rd largest city. Castor’s substantial victory on April 23 followed in the wake of Lori Lightfoot’s landslide election as the first out LGBTQ major of Chicago, Illinois (the nation’s 3rd largest city), and Sataya Rhodes-Conway’s election as the first out LGBTQ mayor of Madison, Wisconsin (the 83rd largest city).

Still to come: The June 18 run-off in Kansas City (the 37th largest city), where out lesbian Jolie Justus will be contending with councilmember Quinton Lucas. The other out lesbian big city mayor is Jenny Durkan, of Seattle, Washington (the 20th largest city). Incidentally, South Bend, Indiana, does not show up on an on-line list of the nation’s 150 largest cities that we consulted to prepare this item.

By Arthur S. Leonard. This article appears in the Summer Issue of LGBT Law Notes, the most comprehensive monthly publication covering the latest legal and legislative developments, here and abroad. Subscribe:

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