Danica Roem Wins Virginia Election and Becomes the State's First Openly Trans State Lawmaker

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

On Tuesday night Danica Roem defeated Bob Marshall in Virginia’s 13th district. Roem’s victory makes her the first trans woman to serve on Virginia’s state legislature — Roem’s election also makes her the first openly trans candidate in the country to run and win a seat on any state’s legislature.


Roem’s win is especially sweet for another reason. Marshall, a 26-year veteran in Virginia’s state legislature, proposed an anti-trans bathroom bill in January. That bill was eventually blocked, but Marshall’s virulent anti-LGBTQ attacks continued during the campaign.

In September, Marshall asked why a reporter referred to Roem as woman. “Did Danica’s DNA change,” he questioned. Responding to Marshall’s clearly transphobic remark, Roem released a powerful ad, titled “Inspire,” elucidating why her identity shouldn’t affect her ability to serve.


“I’m running for office because my identity shouldn’t be a big deal. This shouldn’t be newsworthy or political. This is just who I am,” she said in the ad.

Althea Garrison was technically the first trans woman to serve on a state legislature; she was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1992, however she was not openly trans when she won.