Danica Roem Becomes First Trans State Legislator in Virginia

Laura Christensen
November 9, 2017

Danica Roem shattered a political glass ceiling Tuesday night becoming the nation's first openly transgender person elected to serve in a USA state legislature.

Roem, a 33-year-old former journalist, focused his campaign on improving traffic routes and garnering increasingly progressive rights for transgenders, while the 13-term incumbent Marshall ran on a promise to preserve the more conservative values Virginia has historically espoused.

Marshall meanwhile spent the entire campaign referring to Roem as him, but after her win she refused to attack her opponent, saying: 'He'll be one of my constituents and I'm not going to attack my constituents'. He held that position for the past 25 years.

"When Delegate Marshall realized that he can not win on public policy issues, on traffic, jobs, schools and health care, he resorted to trash", she said. "It's something that even if you are cisgender, but you have some reason that you've been singled out in your life, you have some reason that you've been stigmatized in your life, you've had some reason when you've been cornered in your life for being yourself, you can look at me and say, 'If she can do this, so can I'".

Marshall, author of Virginia's "bathroom bill", a measure that would have restricted the bathrooms transgender people can use, thanked his longtime supporters in a statement on Facebook.

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On the campaign trail, Marshall and other Republicans repeatedly misidentified Roem's gender. "Though we all wish tonight would have turned out differently, I am deeply grateful for your support and effort over the years", he said.

The night was historic a lot of "firsts" to be elected happened, like Danica Roem.

In addition to her work in politics, Roem is a stepmother and plays in a metal band. Tyler Titus, who is openly transgender, won a seat on a western Pennsylvania school board. "Our great Commonwealth has had many significant electoral firsts, and it's no surprise the diverse and welcoming citizens of Prince William County have chosen to elect the first transgender candidate to any state's legislative body".

'2017 will be remembered as the year of the trans candidate - and Danica's heroic run for office the centerpiece of that national movement, ' said Aisha C. Moodie-Mills, president & CEO of Victory Fund, in a statement.

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