LGBT Representation and Rights Research Initiative

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Transgender candidates and elected officials (in progress) TransElectedOfficialsJune2015


PRESS RELEASE: LGBT MPs and Candidates in the British General Election May 2015: The State of Play [UKLGBTCandidatesMPs2015April30x1]

Latin America & The Caribbean Policy Paper [LGBT_Report_LatAm_v8 copy]


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About the Initiative

The LGBT Representation and Rights Initiative at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is the first academic program in the United States focused exclusively on the link between the representation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and the legal and political rights afforded to those groups.

The Mission Is Threefold:

  1. Conduct and encourage research on the relationship between the presence and representation of LGBT individuals and equality.
  2. Nurture, connect and inspire a cohort of scholars focused on questions of sexual orientation, gender identity, representation and rights; in North Carolina and beyond.
  3. Pay testimony to and build on the Carolina tradition of pursuing engaged research bringing the highest level of scholarship to bear on the question of how to protect and enhance equality, democracy and the civil rights of all Americans.


The Initiative Will:

  • Gather data to generate knowledge and evidence to support advocacy and generate understanding. Specifically, data on the representation of LGBT officials in national parliaments, multi-national assemblies, governments, and as mayors of cities. We are compiling a comprehensive compendium of national laws as they relate to the rights of LGB and Trans communities.
  • Bring domestic and international speakers to UNC’s campus.
  • Hold academic workshops leading to a series of policy papers.
  • Focus on areas beyond that of politics; i.e., the representation of LGBT individuals in Sports, the Media, Education, Business, the Judiciary, Music, Religion, Health Care, etc.


We Will Disseminate Knowledge To A Wider Audience, Through:

  • Academic journal articles
  • Newspaper opinion-editorials
  • A policy paper series addressing a variety of issues and themes
  • The publication of books on LGBT representation and rights
  • Public talks and lectures


The initiative has a North Carolina, national and global focus. As such it is housed in the Curriculum for Global Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences at UNC Chapel Hill.