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Virginia Elects First Openly Transgender Legislator

Fanny Zhang, News Editor

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For the first time in U.S history, an openly transgender politician has been elected. Democrat Danica Roem claimed victory against Republican Bob Marshall, during the 2017 election, taking office as Virginia’s state legislature in January.

Roem, 33, who began her career as an American Journalist, focused her campaign on issues such as education, jobs, and Virginia’s traffic congestion. Her well presented platform and popular campaign ideas won over the majority of Virginia’s votes, winning by 54.59% of the votes, whereas Marshall received 45.36% of the votes (Virginia Department of Elections).

Marshall, 73, considered as one of the most conservative politician, has been elected into office a total of 13 times. Marshall has a history of being a controversial politician, being known for his failed attempt to pass the “bathroom bill”. This bill required that individuals use bathrooms based on their assigned gender at birth. This bill caused a lot of uproar receiving a lot of backlash, causing most people to socially reject this potential law. Ultimately, this bill was never passed, and was shut down in committee. Marshall has also earned himself a title as a homophobic and transphobic individual, publically speaking his unpopular opinion against same-sex marriage and on the overall LGBT community.

During this election, Marshall manipulated Roem’s gender and integrated her transgender aspect into discriminating ads. In addition, he continued to refer to Roem with male pronouns.

Overall, Roem heavily thrived during this election, winning by about 9%. Not only did her campaign and ideas attract votes, but her advocation and support for the LGBT community helped boost her popularity. She was also able to raise a total of $500,000 in donations, in a 3-to-1 ratio, trumping Marshall’s total donations. Roem takes office as Virginia’s legislator in January, where she will officially become the first openly transgender politician, making U.S history.

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Virginia Elects First Openly Transgender Legislator