On Tuesday, Roem became the first openly transgender legislator in Virginia and will be the first out transgender woman to serve as an elected official in the U.S. Roem's win was especially remarkable given that she ran against a vehemently anti-trans incumbent, Bob Marshall, who spearheaded the state's bathroom bill.
Marshall made Roem's gender identity a source of attacks in the campaign too, repeatedly using male pronouns to refer to Roem and sending out an attack ad on a flyer based exclusively around Roem being trans.
While Ms Roem openly discussed her gender identity during the campaign, the topic was not her main focus.
She stressed creating jobs, improving schools and addressing traffic congestion, according to ABC News.
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"Delegate Marshall's hypocrisy truly knows no bounds: saying that I've made my gender an issue while he [sends] two mailers attacking me for being trans and standing up for LGBTQ kids and misgenders me while he's at it", she wrote. Jenkins, a 56-year-old poet and historian who transitioned in her 30s, brings 25 years of public service to the job.
"To every person who's ever been singled out, who's ever been stigmatized, who's ever been the misfit..."
A lightning rod for controversy, Marshall often drew the ire of even his own party. He was the sponsor of Virginia's bathroom bill that would have discriminated against transgender people.
Roem raised $500,000 in donations, much of it coming from LGBT advocates and other supporters across the country, out raising Marshall 3-1, the Washington Post reported.
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"Transgender people have really good public policy ideas that span the gamut of transportation policy to health care policy to education policy, and yes, to civil rights as well", Roem said.
Roem is a former reporter who sings in a metal band in her spare time. Tyler Titus, who is openly transgender, won a seat on a western Pennsylvania school board. Victory Fund, a group that advocates for LGBTQ candidates, said Jenkins is the first openly transgender woman elected to the city council of a major USA city.
'2017 will be remembered as the year of the trans candidate - and Danica's heroic run for office the centerpiece of that national movement, ' said Aisha C. Moodie-Mills, president & CEO of Victory Fund, in a statement.
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