THE GAY & LESBIAN VICTORY FUND was established in 1991 to increase the number of openly gay and lesbian officeholders in the United States. At the time of its founding, there were fewer than fifty such individuals serving in public office. That number has grown dramatically in the interim: today there are over 275 openly gay and lesbian officials serving in public office. These community leaders and high-profile role models serve at all levels of government, from school boards and city councils, up to and including the U.S. Congress. Many of these officials reached public office with the training and support of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and Leadership Institute.