Curating This Updated List of Openly LGBTQ Elected Officials in Pennsylvania

When I began blogging in 2005, there were no out elected officials in Pennsylvania (that I knew of.) Now there are so many that keeping track is a challenge. Hence, this list and timeline. When I am unsure of someone’s identity, I use LGBTQ.

I urge you to contact me if you have corrections, edits, or updates. Note that I use the year of election, not when they assumed office. I may not get it right in every case because that’s a little confusing, so I’d appreciate any corrections.

1992 – Jim McGill is the first out gay man elected to the Wilkinsburg Borough Council, first out gay person elected to office in Western Pennsylvania, perhaps the entire Commonwealth.

1995 – Idee Fox, Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas (retired in

2005 – Ann Butchart was the first out LGBTQ person to be elected in Pennsylvania when she won her race for the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.

2006 – Lori Schreiber was voted to Abington Township Board of Commissioners

2007 – Bruce Kraus was the first out gay man to be elected to the Pittsburgh City Council.

2007 – Daniel Anders, Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas 

2011 – Brian Sims was the first out LGBTQ person to be elected to the General Assembly. He assumed office in 2012 and served through 2022.

2011 – Hugh McGough was the first out gay man elected as judge for the Allegheny County Magisterial District Court

2012 – Mike Fleck was the first out LGBTQ person to serve in the General Assembly (also first out Republican LGBTQ person)

2012 – Barbara McDermott, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas

2014 – Jim Ferlo came out the same year he retired from his State Senate seat. So he was the first out gay man or LGBTQ person to serve in the PA Senate, but he did not run a campaign as an out LGBTQ person.

2014- Abbe Fletman, Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas

2015 – Bob Langley was the first openly gay man to serve on Meadville City Council. Bob was appointed to serve an expired term.

2015 – Dr. Rachel Levine is the first out transgender woman to be nominated as Pennsylvania Physician General.

2015 – Hugh McGough is the first out gay man elected to serve on the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas.

2015 – Chris Mallios, Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas

2016 – Sean Strub is first out queer man elected as Mayor of Milford.

2016 – Dan Clifford, Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas

2017 – Governor Wolf appointed Dr. Levine as Secretary of Health. In 2021, she was confirmed as assistant secretary for health in the Biden Administration. Later that year, she was commissioned as a four-star admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, becoming the first openly transgender four-star officer in any of the United States uniformed services. She is also the first female four-star admiral in the commissioned corps

2017 – Tyler Titus was elected to the Erie School Board and became the first openly transgender person elected to public office in Pennsylvania.

2017 – Abigail Salisbury is the first out LGBTQ person elected to Swissvale Borough Council. In 2020, she was elected council president.

2018 – Malcolm Kenyatta is the first out LGBTQ person of color and the first Black LGBTQ person to be elected to the General Assembly.

2018 – Ismail Smith-Wade-El is the first bisexual non-binary Black/African-American/Afro-Caribbean to be elected to Lancaster City Council.

2018 – David Bria was elected to Yardley Borough Council and became council president in 2020

2018 – Tim Hayes was voted to serve Dublin Borough Council

2019 – Jessica Semler is the first out bisexual/queer woman to be elected to Etna Borough Council.

2019 – Anthony Saba is the first out gay Arab-American man to be elected to Crafton Borough Council.

2019 – Edward Alo, alongside husband Anthony Saba, is the first out gay white man to be elected to Crafton Borough Council

2019 – Lori Schreiber Montgomery County Clerk of Courts became the first openly LGBTQ row officer in the state when she was elected Clerk of Courts in 2019

2019- Robert Szwajkos elected to Borough of Newton Council

2019 – David Neill first joined Upper Darby School Board Director 

2020 – Jessica Benham is the first out bisexual (and autistic) woman elected to serve in the General Assembly as well as the first out LGBTQ or queer person elected to General Assembly from Western Pennsylvania

2020 – Tiffany Palmer, Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas

2020 – David Bria was elected as County Treasurer for Bucks County.

2020 – Jonathan Warnock is the first out gay man elected to serve on the Indiana Borough Council

2020 – Ian Petrulli is the first out gay man elected to serve in the Wilkinsburg Borough Council.

2020 – Anne Pavone joined West Norriton Township Board of Commissioners 

2021 – Tiffany Sizemore is the out Black bisexual woman elected to serve on the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas.

2021 – Xander Orenstein is the out first bisexual non-binary individual elected to Allegheny County Magisterial District Court.

2021- Lisa Pietrusza – first out non binary councilperson in Mt. Oliver borough

2021 – Franny DiCicco, an open lesbian, was elected Mayor of Folcroft a borough in Delaware County, Pennsylvania

2021 – Taylor Galaska, openly gay man, was elected to Sharon City Council.

2022 – La’Tasha Mayes is presumed to be the first out lesbian lawmaker on the state level from Western PA and the first out Black lesbian and out Black LGBTQ person from Western PA.

2022 – Sarah Ishman is one of the first out LGBTQ person and Carrie Tongarm is the first multiracial lesbian elected to Sharpsburg Borough Council

2022 – Alex Myers joined Hatboro Borough Council

2022 – Maria Montaño is the first out Latina trans woman appointed to serve in a Mayoral Administration for the City of Pittsburgh.

2022 – Ismail Smith-Wade-El is the first queer non-binary Black/African-American/Afro-Caribbean to be elected to the PA General Assembly.

2022 – After winning reelection to the PA House, Jessican Benham joins Malcolm Kenyatta as co-chairs of the Pennsylvania Equality Caucus.

2023 – Abigail Salisbury is the first out bisexual Jewish woman elected to serve in the General Assembly. Fred Quinn III is the first openly Black gay man to serve on Swissvale Council, filling her vacant seat.

2023 –

  • Jess Branas will be the first white cisgender lesbian, Upper Darby Town Council
  • Andrea Ditillo will be a white cisgender lesbian,Churchill Borough Council.
  • Brad Iannuzzi is th first white cisgender gay man on the Etna Borough Council,
  • Rue Laundau is the first white cisgender lesbian elected to Philadelphia City Council
  • Jessica Rothchild, is a white lesbian reelected to Scranton City Council
  • James Sabatino white cisgender gay man, Luzerne County Council
  • Ashley Smith white cisgender bisexual woman, Franklin City Council
  • Tyler Titus – a white transgender non-binary queer person will serve on Erie City Council

2023 saw several school boards breaking ground.

  • Katrina Eames is the first Asian/Pacific Islander Genderqueer/Non-Binary queer person, Northgate School Board
  • Daniel Kolbe a white cisgender gay man will serve on State College School Board
  • Amelia McMillan white gendernonconforming queer person joins the Central York School Board
  • Damien Warsavage is a multiracial cisgender gay man, the first to join Upper Darby School Board

Other 2023 electoral victories

  • Chesley Lightsey is the first white cisgender lesbian to join Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas
  • Daniel Miller is a white cisgender gay man and parent who will serve as Harrisburg City Treasurer
  • Lori Schreiber a white cisgender lesbian will serve Montgomery County Clerk of Courts
  • Bryan Tate will serve York County Register of Wills and Clerk of Orphans’ Court

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