Tuesday, 21 November, 2017

Meet Danica Roem, Virginia's first transgender elected official

Voters Talk Taxes Trump in Virginia New Jersey Races Danica Roem will become first openly trans legislator after stomping her opponent
Howard Terry | 09 November, 2017, 00:24

Danica Roem's Slogan: "Fix Route 28 Now" In an online ad produced by The People PAC, Roem speaks the camera and first identifies herself - before anything else - as a life-long Manassas resident: "I was born and raised at Prince William Hospital in Manassas and I've lived in Manassas ever since".

Roem, a Democrat, defeated Republican incumbent Bob Marshall who proposed a bill restricting which bathrooms transgender people could use and attempted to block Virginia from adding sex and gender discrimination to anti-discrimination rules.

"For trans youth across the country, Danica Roem's election isn't just a headline or even history", she added. During her acceptance speech, she thanked her supporters and the trans community, saying: "To every person who has ever been singled out, who has ever been stigmatized, who has ever been the misfit, who's ever been the kid in the corner, who's ever needed someone to stand up for them when they didn't have a voice of their own because there is no one else with them, this one is for you". Marshall introduced a "bathroom bill" to the district, it died in committee. He refused to debate Roem and referred to her as a male throughout the campaign.

The 33-year-old left her post as a local news editor for the Montgomery County Sentinel in Rockville, MD last year to run for office. She also sang in a metal band in her spare time, ABC News said.

The delegate-elect also stressed that she doesn't need money from for-profit corporations to be a success in Richmond, and she won't take them.

Other firsts that happened on election night were Andrew Jenkins was the first trans woman of color to be elected to city council in a major city. In 1992 a transgender woman was voted into the Massachusetts House, but didn't disclose her gender identity until after she was elected.

Vi Lyles will become the first African-American female mayor of Charlotte, N.C. She had served on the Charlotte city council since 2013, but had worked for the city in various roles for a total of 30 years.

In Hoboken, N.J., Ravi Bhalla was elected mayor, making him the city's first Sikh American chief executive. Finally, Elizabeth Guzman and Hala Ayala both became the first Latina's elected to the Virginia House of Delegates.

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