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Danica Roem: First Openly Transgender Legislator Elected in Virginia

Image: Danica Roem: First Openly Transgender Legislator Elected in Virginia

Danica Roem brings campaign signs as she greets voters while canvasing a neighborhood in June. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

By    |   Wednesday, 08 November 2017 11:01 AM

Danica Roem will become the first openly transgender state legislator in the U.S. after her apparent election in Virginia on Tuesday.

The Hill reported that the Virginia House of Delegates candidate, a Democrat, defeated long-time legislator Robert Marshall on Tuesday and will make history as the first transgender person to be seated in a state.

With about 90 percent of the votes counted in preliminary estimates, 33-year-old Roem was up more than 10 points over social conservative Marshall.

Marshall had been vocal about his anti-LQBTQ stance, referring to himself as Virginia’s “chief homophobe,” Vox reported.

In the days leading up to the election, the Virginia Republican Party reportedly funded campaign fliers that said, “Danica Roem, born male, has made a campaign issue out of transitioning to female,” the report said.

Roem told Cosmopolitan magazine in September that in the current political climate there was negativity directed at transgender people and that filling a seat in the state legislature sends out a powerful message to the public.

“The message that I can succeed because of my gender, not despite it, because of who I am without being afraid of who I am is a human message,” Roem told Cosmopolitan.

Aisha C. Moodie-Mills, president and CEO of Victory Fund, which strives to increase the number of openly LGBTQ elected officials, said per CNN that “voters chose a smart, solutions-oriented trans leader over a divisive anti-LGBTQ demagogue -- sending a powerful message to anti-trans legislators all across the nation.”

Before entering into politics, Roem worked as a journalist for several years, stepping down last year to run for office, her biography listed on Victory Fund said.

Virginia House Democratic Caucus Leader David J. Toscano and Caucus Chairwoman Charniele Herring said per The Hill that Roem would “bring a reporter’s eye to Richmond, and we eagerly anticipate her results-oriented approach to deliver for her constituents in the 13th.”

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Danica Roem will become the first openly transgender state legislator in the U.S. after her apparent election in Virginia on Tuesday.
danica roem, first, transgender, legislator, virginia
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2017-01-08
Wednesday, 08 November 2017 11:01 AM
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