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Danica Roem To Become Virginia’s First Transgender State Senator

danica-roem

Danica Roem, a delegate from Virginia, made political history once more on Tuesday when she was elected to the state Senate. She is the first openly transgender person elected to Virginia’s upper house and, as of 2020, the only transgender person elected to any state Senate in the US, after Sarah McBride of Delaware.

Defeating Republican Bill Woolf by over three percentage points was Democratic candidate Roem. Republican governor of the state Glenn Youngkin endorsed Woolf, a former Fairfax County police officer.

“I’m grateful the people of Virginia’s 30th Senate district elected me to continue representing my lifelong home of western Prince William County and greater Manassas,” Roem said in a statement shared on social media Tuesday. “The voters have shown they want a leader who will prioritize fixing roads, feeding kids and protecting our land instead of stigmatizing trans kids or taking away your civil rights.”

The 39-year-old former journalist made headlines six years ago when she was voted to and sat in a state legislature as the first openly transgender person. She did this by defeating a long-serving, socially conservative lawmaker from Virginia.

A nationwide organization devoted to helping LGBTQ individuals achieve public office, the LGBTQ+ Victory Fund, led by Annise Parker, president and CEO, stated that Roem’s victory on Tuesday “serves as a deafening rebuke to bigots who continue to try and silence the LGBTQ+ community and trans people in particular.”

Roem wrote in a piece that appeared in The Advocate last week that those who oppose her have attacked her for standing up for transgender student-athletes and for failing to defend women’s sports by permitting “boys in girls’ spaces.”

The statewide LGBTQ advocacy organization Equality Virginia’s executive director, Narissa Rahaman, stated that Roem’s “victory is both groundbreaking and heartening for our commonwealth’s future.”

This week’s winners among the LGBTQ Virginians were not limited to Roem: Eight additional LGBT candidates, including three non-incumbents, won state legislature seats on Tuesday, according to the LGBTQ+ Victory Fund.

The LGBTQ+ Victory Fund claims that this year’s “rainbow wave” included the LGBTQ candidates’ win in Virginia. Lesbian, homosexual, bisexual, transgender, and queer candidates have won more than 200 elections this year, according to the group, with at least 148 of those triumphs occurring on Tuesday.

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