|Danica Roem will be Virginia's first transgender legislator.|
Democrat Danica Roem ousted longtime incumbent Del. Robert G. Marshall (R) Tuesday, according to preliminary returns, becoming the first openly transgender elected official in Virginia — and one of very few in the nation.
The race between Roem, 33, and Marshall, 73, focused on traffic and other local issues in Prince William County but also exposed the nation’s fault lines over gender identity. It pitted a local journalist who began her physical gender transition four years ago against an outspoken social conservative who earlier this year introduced a “bathroom bill” that died in committee.
The contest was one of dozens of state legislative races where Democrats were pushing to gain ground in the Republican-majority General Assembly, buoyed by a surge of anti-Trump sentiment among Democrats and independents and hoping to provide an example for the nation of how to run in opposition to the unpopular Republican president.
The article goes on to credit a VERY aggressive ground game for Roem's well-deserved victory. And with it, a door has been opened just a little. Roem is the first of what I hope to be many LGBTQs who run for public office and win. She has proven that in spite of all of the slander, lies, and horror stories, transgender men and women are not outsiders and can appeal to the American voter. And why shouldn't they? They are too Americans who care about this country. They are raising children, defending our freedoms, and basically having productive lives. And they are doing this under the long shadow of liars spinning false images of "bathroom predators" and "exhibitionists."
Roem didn't hide who she was, but faced the nonsense head on. I hope that she feels the sweetness of this victory because she deserves every bit of it. And Roem's victory is not just for her but for an entire community who shouldn't have to prove that they are worthy of dignity and respect, but are doing so with flying colors.