Danica Roem just became the first ever transgender state official – by beating a huge transphobe
Danica Roem has become the first transgender person to be elected as a state official in the US – by beating a virulent transphobe.
The Virginian journalist won against Bob Marshall, the 26-year incumbent who proposed a bill which would have restricted which bathrooms trans people could use.
He also previously co-authored the state’s now-defunct constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.
Marshall, a huge opponent of LGBT rights across the board, refused to debate Roem or refer to her as a woman in the run-up to yesterday’s election, calling her “him” on campaign flyers.
Roem was a gracious winner though, saying on MSNBC last night that she “campaigned on a platform of building up our infrastructure and not tearing down each other.
She threw in an anti-Trump, anti-discrimination salvo though, adding: “A message of inclusion and equality resonated here.”
And the new Virginia House of Delegates member – who is also a heavy metal vocalist – emphasised the importance of protecting press freedoms which she enjoyed as a reporter.
She did so with another much-needed dig at the Trump administration, saying: “Facts matter, and alternative facts are B.S.”
The win was part of a Democratic swing across the country, with the party winning the races for governor in Virginia and New Jersey and winning the New York mayoral race in a landslide.
Democrats also won at least 14 more seats in the Virginia House of Delegates and an important seat in Washington which secures full Democratic control of the state government.
And now she has made history again.
During the campaign, she championed LGBT rights, saying: “We are unabashedly pro-equality & anti-discrimination.
“It’s time we put LGBTQ kids front-and-centre, and I’m standing with them.
“As a trans woman, I know representation matters.”
In contrast, Republican Bob Marshall, who has been in office since 1991, has a long history of introducing hateful anti-LGBT bills to the Virginian legislature.
In January, he put forward a bill which would have forced school teachers to inform the parents of transgender kids if they ask to be referred to with different name or gender – even if the child is in the closet or fears a violent reaction at home.
The bill, which would have also forced people to use the bathroom corresponding to the gender on their birth certificate, was killed without debate and condemned by Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe.
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Marshall has also called for the state’s Attorney General to be impeached and charged for supporting “sodomy marriage”.
And in 2015, he proposed a bill which would have effectively granted people and businesses the right to discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.
In May, Roem said: “When the people of the 13th District elect a transgender woman to replace the most anti-LGBT legislator in the South, it will be an act of certainty, and it will be a defining moment that will resonate across the country.”
She wasn’t wrong.
More: bob marshall, danica roem, Donald Trump, election, election 2017, gender, New Jersey, New York, president donald trump, Trans, Transgender, transphobe, transphobia, Trump, US, Virginia, virginia house of delegates, vote