Transgender lawmaker Danica Roem swore into office in the Virginia House of Delegates on Wednesday (10 January).
Roem first made history 7 November, when she became the first trans woman elected to state office in the United States. What made the victory even sweeter is that she defeated incumbent Bob Marshall, Virginia’s self-proclaimed ‘chief homophobe’.
Now she is officially part of the legislature, when it began its official 2018 tenure yesterday. She represents the state’s 13th district.
The Washington Post briefly interviewed the lawmaker and filmed her taking the oath (near the end of the video).
Roem is the fifth openly LGBTQ politician in the Virginia General Assembly.
Another state delegate, Dawn Adams, swore in on the same day. Adams, a Democrat, is also the first out lesbian elected to the state assembly. They join Senator Adam Ebbin and delegates Mark Sickles and Mark Levine.
Republicans currently control the Virginia House with a 51-49 majority. They won the majority after a tiebreaker in which a name was pulled out of a film canister.
‘A message sent’
Roem fought long and hard for her victory. Even after her win, she faced continued scrutiny and pettiness from state Republicans.
Now, however, she is in office and ready to get to work.
‘Increasingly across Virginia and the rest of the country LGBT people are getting an overdue seat at the table,’ Equality Virginia Executive Director James Parrish told the Washington Blade.
He added: ‘Virginia made history today with the swearing in of Delegates Dawn Adams and Danica Roem and a message has been sent that the voices of LGBT Virginians will be heard.’