A transgender woman in Virgina won the Senate election over an incumbent who proposed anti-transgender legislation. Senator Robert Marshall, who actually described himself as “Virginia’s Chief Homophobe”, lost the election after serving 13 terms.” Poetic justice is sweet.
Earlier this year, Marshall proposed a bill that would require people to use public bathrooms–including highway rest stops and all government-owned buildings– that corresponded with the gender they were born with. But the transphobic “bathroom bill” pooped out in the Virginia Senate. (Who wants to have to show their birth certificate when all they really want to do is just take a crap?)
Danica Roem, a 33-year-old journalist, first ran for the office because she wanted to fix the unnecessary 2-hour traffic commute into Washington D.C. that bothered her and other Virginians for years.
But her opponent was a 72-year old anti-gay, anti-choice, anti-trans Republication who refused to participate in a debate with her, refused to call her a “her”, and mocked her transgender status in demeaning television ads. One of his ads said she had “bad judgment”, then showed a clip of her singing in her heavy metal band, pointed out her transgender sexual identity, and falsely called her “lewd in interviews,” but didn’t clarify what he meant by that.
The night she won the election, reporters asked if she had anything bad to say about her opponent, and she graciously said she didn’t want to say anything that would “make him or anyone feel bad. “For every person who has ever needed someone to stand up for them and didn’t think they had a voice, for every person who has ever been a misfit, this ones’ for you.”
According to the Washington Post, “Roem outraised Marshall 3-to-1 with nearly $500,000 in donations, much of it coming from LGBT advocates and other supporters across the country. Her campaign was relentless, knocking on doors more than 75,000 times in a district with 52,471 registered voters. Roem sat for myriad public appearances and interviews and maintained a steady social media presence. Marshall also mounted a ground game; his campaign said that staffers knocked on voters’ doors about 49,000 times this fall. Advocates say she will be the first openly transgender person elected to and seated in a U.S. state legislature.”
Roem was endorsed by former Vice-President Joe Biden who said of her LBGT status:”We need that. We need civil rights. I’m proud to endorse Danica Roem’s historic candidacy.”