Danica Roem has just made history. Last night, the journalist-turned-local politician beat out three challengers to clinch the Democratic nomination for the 13th District seat for Virginia's House of Delegates. In doing so, she has become the first openly transgender candidate to win the nomination—and, if she wins, she'll become the first openly transgender person to be elected a state legislator in the United States of America.
The general election will be held November 7, 2017, when Roem will face off against the notoriously conservative and outspokenly anti-LGBTQ Republican incumbent, Bob Marshall, who as of late has devoted himself to pushing transphobic "bathroom bill" legislation. As Roem told us in a recent Noisey profile, "Delegate Marshall cares more about how I use the restroom than how you get to work. That's the bottom line here."
Roem's own platform focuses heavily on issues of local transportation, infrastructure, business investment, and education, as well as a goal of strengthening protections for trans schoolchildren and working towards a more inclusive Virginia. As she told us, "It shouldn't matter what you look like, where you come from, how you worship, or who you love— we should be saying, 'Welcome to Virginia.' This should be the most welcoming place in the mid-Atlantic to start a family, fall in love, to go to school, to start a business, to relax, to retire, to enjoy the environment, to just be."
"Danica's primary win is a historic moment in the movement for trans equality – and that she now takes on 'Bigot Bob' to become the first trans person to become a state legislator makes it all that more exciting," Aisha C. Moodie-Mills, President and CEO of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, said in a statement. The Victory Fund endorsed Roem's campaign alongside a laundry list of others, including Emily's List. "And while she is breaking new ground, it's important to remember she won her race because she knocked on more doors, connected with voters on local issues and ran a smart campaign as an out trans woman. She is a serious, issues-driven candidate who is passionate about improving the lives of all District 13 residents. In the next five months, Victory Fund will invest in her efforts to reach voters with that message, and make 2017 the year of the trans candidate."
Donate to Danica's campaign here.