A Virginia politician made history Tuesday night, becoming the first openly transgender person to be elected to any state legislature in the United States. Danica Roem, 32, just won a seat in the Virginia House of Delegates, defeating Republican incumbent Robert Marshall in the 13th District.
Roem, a former journalist, won a surprise victory in the Democratic primary in June. She took on the ultra-conservative Marshall, who has been in office for more than 20 years and who has taken anti-LGBTQ stances. For instance, he proposed the state’s (ultimately failed) “bathroom bill” that would have required transgender people to use the public restroom that corresponds with the sex on their birth certificate.
Roem overcame her opponent’s brutal personal attacks, making her historic victory extra sweet. And it’s adding to what’s looking like powerhouse Democratic showing in the state with Ralph Northam’s win over Ed Gillespie.