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LGBTQ+ Texans

The Texas House has a record number of LGBTQ representatives as lawmakers face scores of bills focused on gender and sexuality

The Texas Legislature has nine lawmakers who are openly LGBTQ, all Democrats. At the same time, some Republican lawmakers are pushing a slate of bills aimed at drag queens, transgender children and how sexuality is discussed in schools.

Clockwise from top left: State Reps. Josey Garcia, D-San Antonio, Christian Manuel, D-Beaumont, Venton Jones, D-Dallas, and Jolanda Jones, D-Houston.

State Rep. Josey Garcia, D-HD124, at the Capitol in Austin on Jan. 25, 2023.
State Rep. Julie Johnson, D-Carrollton, speaks during a press conference regarding Uninsured Texans on April 22, 2021.
State Rep. Jessica González, D-Dallas, speaks during the Trans Day of Visibility Rally at the Capitol on Saturday, April 2, 2022.

How the ranks have grown

Glen Maxey, who was the first openly gay member of the Texas Legislature, gives remarks prior to the ceremony that married over 40 same-sex couples on the south lawn of the Texas State Capitol in Austin on July 4, 2015.
State Rep. Jolanda Jones, D-Houston, in her office at the Capitol in Austin on Jan. 25, 2023. The pink painting on the left is a portrait of her by her step-brother, framed by adjectives that start with the letter J: jarring, just, and Junoesque.

Legislative strategy

State Rep. Ann Johnson, D-Houston, speaks from the podium on the House floor on Sunday, May 23, 2021.
State Rep. Julie Johnson, D-Carrollton, speaks against Senate Bill 1978 on the House floor on May 20, 2019. Behind her, left to right: state Reps. Jessica González, D-Dallas, Mary González, D-Clint, Erin Zwiener, D-Driftwood, and former Rep. Celia Israel, D-Austin.

A mix of expertise, experiences and identities

State Rep. Christian Manuel Hayes, D-HD 22 in Beaumont, at his office at the state Capitol in Austin on Jan. 26, 2023.
State Rep. Venton Jones, HD-100, stands in the open-air rotunda, a few steps away from his office in the state Capitol's extension in Austin on Jan. 19, 2023.

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Explore related story topics

Demographics Politics State government Ann Johnson Erin Zwiener Jessica González Jolanda Jones Julie Johnson Venton C. Jones