A Virginia politician made history today, becoming the first openly transgender person to be elected to a state legislature in the United States. Danica Roem, 32, won a seat in the Virginia House of Representatives, defeating the strongly anti-LGBTQI Republican candidate Robert Marshall.
BREAKING: Danica Roem (D) has defeated 26-year Del. Bob Marshall (R) in #HD13, becoming the first transgender person elected to VA's state legislature.
— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) November 8, 2017
This makes Roem the first openly transgender person to be elected at either a state or federal level to be elected to a legislature.
It’s hard to express how particularly poetic this victory is. Marshall is not only anti-LGBTQI in the generalised sense many conservative American politicians are – he is specifically anti-trans. He previously referred to himself as Virginia’s “chief homophobe”, and he drafted the state’s punitive proposed ‘bathroom bill’, which would have forced people to use the bathroom corresponding to the gender on their birth certificate. Basically, this guy does not like trans people, to put it lightly.
Marshall made Roem’s gender identity a source of attacks in the campaign too, repeatedly using male pronouns to refer to Roem and sending out an attack ad on a flyer based solely around Roem being trans. At the time, Roem hit back.
“Delegate Marshall’s hypocrisy truly knows no bounds: saying that I’ve made my gender an issue while he [sends] two mailers attacking me for being trans and standing up for LGBTQ kids and misgenders me while he’s at it,” she wrote. “This is what happens when he can’t defeat me [on] the core quality-of-life issues facing the people of the 13th District.”
With 19 out of 20 precincts in the state’s 13th district reporting, Roem had won comfortably with 54.6% of the vote.
This one's over, folks. Danica Roem becomes the 1st transgender delegate in VA history, trounces opponent who refused to debate or call her "she." pic.twitter.com/jE6q7iReUI
— Joshua Green (@JoshuaGreen) November 8, 2017
Oh, and she’s also in a metal band. Roem provides vocals for the thrash metal outfit Cab Ride Home, meaning that Virginia is getting some much-needed metalhead representation alongside its LGBTQI representation. Here she is tearing it up, if you’re keen for a geeze:
Goodonya, and absolutely cop it Marshall you ratbag.
Image: Getty Images