Danica Roem, Metal Vocalist, Becomes Virginia's First Openly Transgender Legislator

Courtesy of Danica Roem

'It's historic. It sends a message to politicians everywhere that the politics of bigotry is over, ' said Democratic House Caucus Chair Charniele Herring.

She beat Bob Marshall, who had served in Virginia's House of Delegates since 1992. Throughout the campaign, Marshall purposefully misgendered Roem in campaign mailers, interviews, and at any opportunity.

While Ms Roem openly discussed her gender identity during the campaign, the topic was not her main focus.

"Her campaign was hard-fought-she shared her personal story with her constituents and braved constant, dehumanizing anti-trans attacks from her opponent-but that is the burden trailblazers often face", said Aisha C. Moodie-Mills, President & CEO of the Victory Fund, an organization dedicated to electing LGBT lawmakers. Jenkins, a 56-year-old poet and historian who transitioned in her 30s, brings 25 years of public service to the job. "It's something that even if you are cisgender, but you have some reason that you've been singled out in your life, you have some reason that you've been stigmatized in your life, you've had some reason when you've been cornered in your life for being yourself, you can look at me and say, 'If she can do this, so can I'".

Marshall, a fervently right-wing politician who made national headlines in 2016 when he introduced the so-called "bathroom bill" created to restrict restroom access to transgender individuals, found himself in the fight of his career against Roem, who came out as transgender in 2013. "For 26 years I've been proud to fight for you, and fight for our future", Marshall wrote in a concession post on Facebook.

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Michelle Kaufusi became the first woman elected mayor in the 157-year history of Provo, the third-largest city in Utah, on Tuesday night. "Though we all wish tonight would have turned out differently, I am deeply grateful for your support and effort over the years".

In addition to her work in politics, Roem is a stepmother and plays in a metal band.

Kaufusi replaces John Curtis, Provo's current mayor, who successfully ran for the US House seat that was left open when former congressman Jason Chaffetz resigned in June.

"History made tonight! #DanicaRoem has just become the first openly transgender legislator in US history", the Women's March also tweeted.

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