Danica Roem becomes first openly transgender state legislator

Andrea Jenkins also became the first out trans woman of color elected to public office.

November 07, 2017

In July Danica Roem became the first openly transgender person to run for the Virginia House of Delegates. Tuesday night, having won that race, she became the first openly transgender person seated in any state legislature in the country. For her run at the slot, Roem campaigned against incumbent Bob Marshall, a Republican, who had held the seat since 1992.


On the campaign trail the Democrat scooped up an endorsement from former Vice President Joe Biden and weathered transphobic attacks. She also was vocal against President Trump's ban on transgender people serving in the military. Marshall was notably anti-LGBT, sponsoring Virgina's transgender bathroom bill and even writing an amendment which opposed marriage equality.

Shortly after Roem's race was called, it was announced that in Minnesota, Andrea Jenkins became the "first out trans woman of color elected to public office in America," according to the press secretary for the Human Rights Campaign. Both Roem and Jenkins were preceded by Althea Garrison who, in 1992, served one term in the Massachusetts state legislature though she was not out at the time.

*This post was updated November 7 to add in Andrea Jenkins's historic win.