Transgender woman wins Virginia House race, makes history

Thursday, 09 Nov, 2017

This year, Marshall introduced a bill that would have forced transgender people to use public restrooms associated with their birth gender, instead of the gender they identify with.

The race was one of the year's most high profile and drew national and global attention and big money to the northern Virginian district.

In the race for Virginia's 13th District, Roem, who was the Virginia House of Delegates candidate, defeated Republican incumbent Bob Marshall.

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.

She started pursuing therapy to begin her gender transition when she was 28, and said in an interview with The Associated Press during the campaign that politics should be inclusive of all.

With her victory, the former journalist and current frontwoman for a "drunken thrash metal" band called Cab Ride Home, Roem beat a man who has been elected 13 times across a 26-year span. Marshall's quarter-century in office culminated in him being called "Virginia's Chief Homophobe" and now we know why-on the campaign trail, he consistently used incorrect pronouns for Roem and refused to be in the same room as her. Bye bye, bigot! Campaign ads for Marshall did target Roem's gender identity, reports say.

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In her bio on the campaign website, Roem stated that she learned to listen to different perspectives and digest complicated policy as a reporter for the Gainesville Times and Prince William Times. "We shouldn't just be pigeonholed into the idea that we're just going to be fighting about bathrooms".

Stephen Farnsworth, a political-science professor at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, said Roem's victory shows "that cultural wars don't win elections like they used to".

She and her supporters knocked on doors more than 75,000 times in the district, which contains 52,471 registered voters.

"Thank you Hoboken. I look forward to being your Mayor!" "I'm really proud of Virginia", said Roem voter John Coughlin, 63, a Realtor in Manassas who said he had never voted for Marshall.

One pf the biggest reasons Roem ran is what some commuters describe as a terrible commute along Route 28.