OutNEWS — LGBTQ+ Equality on the Ballot

Every American should have the freedom to work a job that pays the bills, have health care they can afford, love who they love, marry who they want to marry, and maintain control of their own health care decisions. But in 2024, these basic rights are all at stake and like every presidential election cycle, it’s going to come down to battleground states like Wisconsin.

Pictured above: Tammy Baldwin, US Senator for Wisconsin speaking with Rev. Mark Fowler at Out Leadership’s Global OutNEXT Summit in 2022.

In 2016, President Trump won Wisconsin by less than one percentage point, around 20,000 votes, handing him the White House. In 2020, President Biden won Wisconsin by even less than that, returning control to the Democrats. And this November, with control of the Senate and the White House on the line, Republicans are going to do all that they can to flip Wisconsin red and bring President Trump back to power alongside a GOP-controlled Congress.

As our country’s first openly gay U.S. Senator, I want to emphasize the importance of 2024 for the LGBTQ+ community. Right now, we’re seeing a proliferation of anti-LGBTQ+ legislative attacks across the country at every level of government. The ACLU is currently tracking over 500 anti-LGBTQ+ bills making their way through legislatures this year and for the first time, the Human Rights Campaign declared a national state of emergency for LGBTQ+ people, and Out Leadership’s 2023 State LGBTQ+ Climate Index measured the first-ever decline in the nationwide climate for LGBTQ+ equality.

At the same time, we have seen President Trump and his allies in Congress threaten the basic tenets of our democracy and promise to work to roll back everything from protections for those with preexisting conditions to abortion rights to the right to vote I have no doubt in my mind that a Republican control of the White House and Congress would put our democracy, our freedom, our ability to live and raise our family in peace in jeopardy.

Right now I am working tirelessly to ensure Democrats, from President Biden on down, win the critical swing state of Wisconsin and protect our fundamental rights and freedoms. As members of the LGBTQ+ community, I encourage you to stay involved, stay active, and work alongside your community to preserve our progress, defend our rights, and ensure our society moves forward, not backward.

In service,

Tammy Baldwin
United States Senator from Wisconsin

Senator Baldwin spoke at Out Leadership’s Global OutNEXT Summit in 2022.

Here’s what you need to know this week…


Presidential primaries underscore the risk to LGBTQ+ rights in 2024.

As Republican voters braved freezing temperatures to select their nominee for President in Iowa, candidate Vivek Ramaswamy attempted to corral last-minute votes by throwing LGBTQ+ Americans under the bus in a hail mary tweet.

“There are two genders. And no, a man cannot become a woman,” he posted. Neither the anti-equality pandering nor his tech-bro MAGA facsimile won him any delegates.

Ron DeSantis also failed to measure up to the former President’s lead – even in his heeled boots. The Florida Governor’s anti-equality pitch for president, which relied on a hardcore version of conservatism that embraced censorship of LGBTQ+ topics, repression of educators, and fierce crackdowns on drag queens and transgender people, netted him second place ahead of former South Carolina governor and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley.

Donald Trump, who is currently facing 91 criminal charges, won the Republican Iowa Caucus with over 50% of the vote. Launching his reelection campaign, Mr. Trump promised to ban gender-affirming care nationwide. While in office, Trump reinstated a rule that banned transgender soldiers from serving openly in the military.


The playbook for aspiring senior leaders has changed. Sylvia Ann Hewlett details the new rules.

Pictured above: Sylvia Ann Hewlett, Economist and Author.

What are the essential traits of a senior leader? The requirements seem to have changed over the last decade. That’s according to economist and leadership expert Sylvia Ann Hewlett, whose surveys on Executive Presence in 2012 and 2022 reveal a remarkable shift in expectations for aspiring c-suite leaders.

In “The New Rules of Executive Presence,” published in the January/February issue of the Harvard Business Review, Hewlett offers a detailed guide to nurturing one’s executive presence, complete with examples, including a profile of Out Leadership Founder & CEO Todd Sears.

Out Leadership’s groundbreaker Out to Succeed research builds upon 15 years of research on the LGBTQ+ workforce, including the three versions of The Power of Out series, pioneered by Sylvia Ann Hewlett, Karen Sumberg & Kenji Yoshino with contributions from Out Leadership Founder & CEO Todd Sears.


We’re coming up on the first Member Council Meeting of the year!

We are thrilled to announce our collaboration with Mizuho for the February 2024 Q1 Member Council Meeting – an exclusive gathering for LGBTQ+ leaders, executives, and allies. During this invitation-only hybrid event, we will delve into our notable achievements from 2023, shed light on upcoming major priorities, and provide comprehensive insights into the extraordinary events, research, advocacy initiatives, and exciting programming lined up for 2024. With a robust pipeline of initiatives for the year ahead, we are eager to mobilize our leaders for deeper engagement. Please contact events@outleadership.com for further details.


OutLEADERs excel at the Emmys.

Pictured above: RuPaul at the 2024 Emmys Awards, with Ross Matthews, Carson Kressley, Marcia Marcia Marcia, Michelle Visage, and others.

With television’s biggest night back on air after strike-related delays. the biggest winners at the 75th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards were the Rainbow Mafia.

GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis accepted the 2023 Governors Award for GLAAD’s ongoing efforts to promote acceptance and fair representation of LGBTQ+ people in media and entertainment.

Gay icon Elton John completed his EGOT after his program Elton John Live: Farewell From Dodger Stadium won Outstanding Variety Special. He is only the 19th person in history to win an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony.

Recent Golden Globe winner and newly-minted queer icon Ayo Edibiri, star of the movie Bottoms, also won for her role on the Hulu smash hit The Bear.

RuPaul addressed ongoing attacks on the rightwing’s favorite boogeyman of the LGBTQ+ community – drag queen story hour as he accepted yet another Emmy Award for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Competition Program for his work on his eponymous show.

“Listen, if a drag queen wants to read you a story at a library, listen to her,” RuPaul said as he accepted the award. “Knowledge is power, and if someone tries to restrict your access to power, they are trying to scare you. So listen to a drag queen!”


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