Danica Roem sworn in as first trans state representative in the US
Danica Roem has been sworn in as the first out state representative in the US, and the first to sit in the Virginia House of Delegates.
Roem back in November became the first out trans person to be elected as a state representative.
Not only that but she did so, beating an adamant transphobe, Bob Marshall, for the seat.
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.
At the time she said she had “campaigned on a platform of building up our infrastructure and not tearing down each other.”
Roem’s swearing-in today was celebrated by LGBT activists and organisations.
“Delegate Danica Roem’s victory was a game changer, sending a clear warning to anti-equality lawmakers across the country that the days of attacking LGBTQ people to scare up votes are over,” said the Human rights Campaign’s Senior Vice President for Policy and Political Affairs JoDee Winterhof.
“HRC was proud to endorse her candidacy and to mobilize around her campaign. Today, as she is sworn in to the Virginia House of Delegates, Danica Roem is giving hope to LGBTQ people — especially transgender young people– all across this country. We congratulate Delegate Roem on this historic achievement and look forward to working with her to advance equality for all Virginians.”
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 BS”.
During her 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.”
Since winning the seat, Roem has gone viral various times for hitting out at Republicans for their transphobia.
She wrote a lengthy dig at Republicans who attacked voters saying that they were too focussed on gender politics.
Roem highlighted her non-LGBT policies she put forward during a months-long campaign for the seat in the epic burn.
Later she hilariously hit out at Republicans, responding to a question about a road repair she had campaigned on.
She said: “The problem is as transgender people we don’t get to fly our unicorns to work every day.
“We only get to use them on weekends and sometimes Thanksgiving.”
When asked on the show why she has not responded in kind to the personal attacks, Roem said: “The bottom line is the people of the 13th District didn’t elect me to be rude.
“They elected me so we could make some damn progress as opposed to singling out and stigmatising the people we were elected to serve.”
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Roem was also elected on the same night that Andrea Jenkins became the first trans woman of colour to be elected to any office in the US.
The Democrat won by a landslide, attracting more than 73% of the first-choice votes in Minneapolis’s Eighth Ward to give her a place on the City Council.
Jenkins, who was previously a senior policy aide to departing Council Vice President Elizabeth Glidden, beat three other candidates.
The history-maker, who has 25 years of public service, said during the campaign that her “vision for Minneapolis is to bring my commitment to leadership, access and equity for all people.”