Danica Roem is now the first openly transgender lawmaker in the country. Roem, a Democrat, unseated Robert G. Marshall, a 13-term Republican who proudly called himself Virginia’s “chief homophone” in Tuesday’s election. Ironically, Marshall had introduced a ‘bathroom bill’ earlier this year that didn’t make it past the committee stage.
Roem, who received a hearty endorsement from former Vice President Joe Biden, will serve in the Virginia House of Delegates. That race was one of many in Virginia where Democrats hoped to break-up a Republican majority in the General Assembly.
“Discrimination is a disqualifier,” Roem said Tuesday night. “This is about the people of the 13th District disregarding fear tactics, disregarding phobias…where we celebrate you because of who you are, not despite it.”
A former journalist, Roem began her physical gender transition four years ago. Marshall countered her campaign with ugly ads highlighting her transgender status. He also refused to debate Roem and repeatedly used male pronouns when referring to his opponent. He was unavailable for an interview but posted a concession speech on Facebook, utilizing social media much the same way the President does.