A record number of GLBT delegates are expected to arrive at the Democratic National Convention later this month, says the National Stonewall Democrats – the nation's largest Democratic organization representing gays and lesbians. The record numbers are a result of grassroots efforts by the organization which started in 2007.

Stonewall Democrats' 2007 outreach program Pride in the Party is being hailed as a success in bringing additional GLBT voices to the convention.

State parties established voluntary goals for GLBT participation at the 2008 Democratic Convention, then Stonewall Democrats connected them with local organizations and events, such as Black Pride celebrations, community gatherings, and town hall meetings.

Forty-seven state parties established such goals. And of those, 83% met or exceeded their 2004 GLBT participation. Only Alaska, Arkansas and Mississippi did not establish goals.

Stonewall Democrats expect to see 358 gay & lesbian participants at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado when it opens on August 25th. Of those, 276 will serve as delegates, 42 as alternate delegates, 34 as standing committee members, and 6 as convention pages.

Overall, thirty-six states and territories will have increased their gay representation at the convention when compared to 2004. And five states – Hawaii, Mississippi, Montana, South Dakota, and Tennessee – will be sending gay representation for the first time.

The gathering not only promises to be the gayest ever, it will also include the first-ever transsexual appointment and a record number of GLBT assignments to DNC standing committees.

Diego Sanchez of AIDS Action will make history as the first-ever transgender appointment to the convention.