The first transgender lawmaker has just been re-elected in Virginia
Virginia legislator Danica Roem has successfully defended her position against her Republican opponent, winning her reelection bid by a margin of 57% to 43%.
Roem, who became the first transgender lawmaker in US history when she was originally elected back in 2017, described the result as an “overwhelming margin” after the outcome was announced.
Roem initially made headlines by unseating Robert Marshall, one of the most conservative Republican lawmakers in the GOP, who faced repeated accusations of homophobia through the duration of their fiercely contested campaign. Her victory was justifiably hailed as a huge step for transgender equality. To Roem’s supporters, her reelection affirms that assertion still further.
Speaking in a statement, Annise Parker, president and CEO of the LGBTQ Victory Fund, was magnanimous in her praise for the Virginia lawmaker. As she put it:
“In 2017, Danica wrote the playbook on how transgender candidates can defeat anti-LGBTQ opponents through authenticity and attention to everyday issues — and her reelection victory sets it in stone.”
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“Voters did not head to the polls to make history, yet they proved trans candidates can win battleground races in battleground states despite transphobic attacks from opponents. Danica inspired trans people across the nation to run for office. Her reelection proves that political revolution is a lasting transformation — not an aberration.”
The attacks mentioned by Parker refer to a transphobic advertisement aired by the group, Family Foundation Action, which claimed that Roem was sponsoring a bill “to force all insurance companies to pay for harmful and unnecessary ‘gender transition’ surgeries,” before urging viewers to “Reject Roem’s EXTREME social agenda on Nov. 5th!”
Despite this, Roem was able to secure a resounding victory over her rival. Tweeting in the aftermath, she declared that she was “grateful to represent you because of who you are - never despite it.”