First Openly Transgender State Legislator, Danica Roem, Elected in Virginia

Danica Roem (D) has become the first openly trans legislator in Virginian history after winning the state’s 13th District election today, thereby obtaining membership in the Virginia House of Delegates.

Roem, formerly a journalist who tended to political issues of her state, defeated Del. Robert Marshall (R) with approximately 90% of votes based upon preliminary counting. Marshall served in the House of Delegates for over a decade before his loss this election.

Marshall previously authored the “Physical Privacy Act,” which aimed to force trans people to use the restrooms associated with their sex assigned at birth. The bill failed in a silent vote upon its presentation to legislature. In addition, Marshall, the self-identified “chief homophobe,” and his staff referred to Roem by male pronouns continuously throughout campaigning and would not publicly debate with her.

While Roem is not the first trans legislator to enter office in the United States, she is one of few; in 1992, Althea Garrison won a seat in the Massachusetts House of Representatives and became the first trans elected official in national history.

The Virginia House of Delegates, the modern body of the original House of Burgesses, is the counterpart to the Senate of Virginia and differs from a typical house of representatives by its 100-member body and structure allowing for caucuses.

To learn more about her plans and policies while in office, the public can follow Roem’s Twitter account as a resource.

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Savanna Vest
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Savanna Vest is a 17-year-old staff writer for the Affinity Magazine. She plans to study a social science while minoring in journalism when she attends college. She enjoys learning about history and current events and has passion in advocating for social justice issues. If she’s not hanging out with her friends and family or spending quality time with her pets, she can typically be found reading or communing with nature in her spare time. Twitter: @savannavest

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