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Transgender State Delegate Won Against the Man Who Wrote the Bathroom Bill

Ladies and gentleman, on Tuesday, November 7th, Virginia elected into state office our nation’s first openly transgender elected official, Danica Roem.

*Cue the applause for Virginia*

As absolutely amazing and progressive as that fact is, that is not the best part. The man whom she will be replacing, that is the man she defeated in the election, is none other than the man who wrote Virginia’s infamous almost-bathroom-bill: Bob Marshall.

Refresher: Virginia’s almost-bathroom-bill was proposed after the North Carolina one. Virgina’s also attempted to take it one step further; not only would it regulate transgender people’s right to use the bathroom of the gender they identify with in government buildings (schools, highway rest stops, etc.), but the bill also stated that if a student requested to be treated differently than their birth sex (through use of bathrooms and/or pronouns and name), the principal would be required to tell the student’s parents.

Image via Wikimedia

Marshall justified this bill as a form of protection for women and girls from men who would enter girls bathrooms and locker rooms regardless of gender identification and threaten their safety. Naturally, there was a ton of controversy surrounding this bill. However, as even Marshall predicted, the bill did not pass.

Marshall is self-branded Virginia’s “chief homophobe” (an incredibly strong statement for a politician to make, clearly alienating anyone who at all supports LBGTQA rights). During the election campaign against Roem, Marshall refused to debate Roem, use she/her pronouns, or call her by her chosen name. Marshall even ran ads that referred to Danica as male and insinuated  that she was a “bathroom predator”.

Image via the Australian Broadcasting Commission (the ABC)

While Danica was open about being transgender, and clearly a defender of LGBTQA rights, she wanted the election (as a state legislature election) to focus on the local issues the position should be dealing with.

No matter how hard she tried, however, her being transgender was the focal point for many voters, journalists, and the opposition. “I’m Danica Roem, or as the Washington Post web editors like to call me, the transgender candidate.”

Roem called Marshall a “mirror” of Trump, and said that he was more concerned with conservative issues than the local issues that a state legislature should be dealing with. Many voters who supported Dancia, however, pointed out that regardless of her focus on local issues, her victory in the election was a monumental step forward in inclusion and acceptance of the transgender community in Virginia.

Roem’s acceptance speech dedicated her win to anyone “who has ever needed someone to stand up for them when they didn’t have a voice of their own. This one is for you.”

She then, in the most professional way, reminded everyone that her focus is on local issues, not just national social issues, and restated her promise to alleviate traffic congestion on Route 28.

“That’s why I got in this race,” Roem said. “Because I’m fed up with the frickin’ road over in my home town.”

I don’t think anyone, Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal, transgender or otherwise, will disagree with the annoyance of traffic.

After the election was over and Roem had won, she was asked about Bob Marshall’s behavior during the election. She responded, “I don’t attack my constituents. Bob is my constituent now.” Classy af.

Image via Pitchfork

Sources:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/virginia-politics/virginia-lawmaker-proposes-a-bathroom-bill-to-restrict-public-bathroom-use-by-transgender-people/2017/01/04/a01580e2-d2a4-11e6-9cb0-54ab630851e8_story.html?utm_term=.0491bc1eb5f2

http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/08/politics/danica-roem-virginia-transgender/index.html

https://www.fastcompany.com/40493246/danica-roem-just-gave-the-classiest-response-ever-to-a-question-about-beating-bob-marshall

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/virginia-politics/danica-roem-will-be-vas-first-openly-transgender-elected-official-after-unseating-conservative-robert-g-marshall-in-house-race/2017/11/07/d534bdde-c0af-11e7-959c-fe2b598d8c00_story.html?utm_term=.f4c09bca3c8e

English Education major at Gettysburg College. My friends hate me for correcting their grammar, but I know they secretly appreciate it.
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