Virginia elects its first openly transgender person to a US state legislature

Danica Roem became the first openly transgender person elected to a seat in the Virginia House of Delegates.

The 32 year old Democratic candidate defeated the incumbent Republican Delegate Robert Marshall, who held office for over 20 years.

Marshall had previously proposed the now failed "bathroom bill", which sought to regulate the use of public toilets by transgender people. Arguing that "Some guys will use anything to make a move on some teenage girls or women", he also stated "mere separation of the sexes should not be considered discrimination."

The outgoing legislator had also run a series of attack campaigns against Roem, which included sending out a paid mailer, in which he wrote, "Danica Roem, born male, has made a campaign issue out of transitioning to female."

As such, the victory Roem as a major boost to the LGBTQ+ community in Virginia and the United States, as she claimed 54.6% of the vote, to Marshall's 45.4%.

Formerly a reporter at the Gainesville Times and Prince William Times, during which period she won a number of Virginia Press Association awards, Roem first announced her intentions to run as a candidate in January 2017. Then, in June she proceeded to win the Democratic Primary elections after running a campaign, which discussed gender, but focused primarily on job creation, traffic congestion and schools.

Commenting on her campaign at the time, she said, "No matter what you look like, where you come from, how you worship or who you love, if you have good public policy ideas, if you’re qualified for office, you have every right to bring your ideas to the table".

Immediately after her victory on November 7th, Roem while acknowledging this historic feat went straight to Tweeting about North Virginia traffic,

Tweeting out his support for Roem, Moby labelled it "poetic justice" after Marshall previously called himself Virginia's "chief homophobe".

 

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