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Illinois Appointment Demographics Report shows increase in LGBTQ state appointments

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Released on Oct. 1, this year’s Boards and Commissions Appointment Demographics Report has shown an increase of LGBTQ people being appointed to and applying for positions.

More than 6% of appointees to state boards and commissions were LGBTQ in 2021, making up 11% of applications.

There are still areas to improve. Despite almost 20 people who identified as transgender, non-binary or genderqueer applying, only one person was appointed this year.

“By ensuring those who serve on critical state Boards and Commissions represent the full diversity of our state, the Governor is making a strong statement that all talented Illinoisans deserve a seat at the table,” said Equality Illinois CEO Brian C. Johnson.  “When the broad range of Illinois perspectives are involved in key decision making, we come to the best possible solutions for our state.”

Equality Illinois has been active in encouraging LGBTQ people to apply and working with the state to get more LGBTQ people appointed.

Myles Brady Davis, communications director and press secretary for Equality Illinois pointed out that having LGBTQ people sit at all levels of public office is important for two reasons. First, they shared “such representation ensures that the unique needs and challenges that LGBTQ people face will be brought into consideration when decisions are being made. Second, it lifts up the leadership of LGBTQ people. When LGBTQ people are visible leaders in the community, their experiences and stories can be shared, and anti-LGBTQ stigma can be confronted and defeated more forcefully.”

Equality Illinois said only 1% of appointees were LGBTQ in the year before Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker took office.

Other demographics have also seen big increases:

  • 48% of appointees identified as Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC), up from only 17%.
  • Women made up 55% of all appointees this year, up from only 36%.
  • People living with disabilities made up 9% of all appointees, up from only 4%.

You can read the full report here.

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