Who is Danica Roem? Virginia elects first openly transgender state legislator


Many political contenders earned new titles as the results from Election Day rolled in Tuesday, but one Virginia politician also became a history maker as the first openly transgender woman elected and seated in a U.S. state legislature.

»RELATED: Election Results: The latest numbers from Tuesday vote

Democrat Danica Roem, a wife and stepmother of one, beat out 25-year, 13-term incumbent Republican Del. Bob Marshall for the house of delegates position. 

“Discrimination is a disqualifier,” Roem said Tuesday night as the votes were still being counted. “This is about the people of the 13th District disregarding fear tactics, disregarding phobias . . . where we celebrate you because of who you are, not despite it.”

Roem’s race with Marshall was contentious.

Marshall helped introduce the controversial “bathroom bill”, which would restrict the bathrooms transgender individuals would use. While the legislation did not pass, Marshall continued to voice his opinions about the LGBT community. The self-proclaimed “chief homophobe” refused to debate Roem in person and referred to her using male pronouns. He also produced several ads denouncing Roem’s transgender identity. One read, “Danica Roem In His Own Words,” and another stated, “ Danica Roem, born male, has made a campaign issue out of transitioning to female.”

The Democrat raised more money than her Republican opponent.

The Virginia-native raised $500,000, according to The Washington Post. Many of the donations came from LGBT advocates and supporters. While District 13 only has 52,471 registered voters, she reportedly knocked on doors more than 75,000 times. Marshall’s campaign said staffers knocked on voters’ doors about 49,000 times. 

She began her physical transformation about four years ago.

The 33-year-old started her transgender transition in 2013. She began hormone replacement therapy and later changed her name from “Dan” to “Danica”. 

Roem was an award-winning newspaper reporter.

She graduated from St. Bonaventure University in New York with a degree in journalism. For nine years, she worked for the Gainesville Times and Prince William Times as a reporter and editor. During her stint as a journalist, she was awarded by the Virginia Press Association seven times. 

She plays in a metal band in her spare time. 

Roem sings in a metal band called Cab Ride Home. She’s the lead vocalist of the five-member ensemble, and they have performed more than 100 shows, including in the U.K., according to their website

»RELATED: COLD CASE: A transgender murder in rural Georgia baffles police


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation & World

The president's Thanksgiving message to the troops causes a stir
The president's Thanksgiving message to the troops causes a stir

On Thanksgiving morning, President Donald Trump delivered a message via teleconference from his luxury resort in Mar-a-Lago to American military service members overseas — but not everyone is happy about it. Retired Lieutenant General Mark Hertling appeared on CNN on Thursday to air his grievances with the content of President Trump’s Thanksgiving...
Fellow teen idol Mickey Dolenz of The Monkees remembers David Cassidy
Fellow teen idol Mickey Dolenz of The Monkees remembers David Cassidy

Few people knew the late David Cassidy like Monkees band member and former teen idol Mickey Dolenz. Dolenz told Billboard that he met Cassidy early on in their careers and kept in touch with him through the years. They even toured together with Peter Noone in 2013 in “The World’s Greatest Teen Idols” tour. He told the publication...
U.S. Navy aircraft with 11 on board crashes into Pacific: Live updates
U.S. Navy aircraft with 11 on board crashes into Pacific: Live updates

A U.S. Navy aircraft with 11 people on board has crashed into the Pacific Ocean, officials said Wednesday. >> Click here or scroll down for the latest updates  >> Read more trending news 
Caught on camera: Teacher arrested, accused of doing cocaine in the classroom
Caught on camera: Teacher arrested, accused of doing cocaine in the classroom

A high school English teacher has been arrested after she was secretly filmed by her students while appearing to cut up and snort what police suspect to be cocaine in an empty classroom, WGN9 reports. Samantha Cox, 24, was taken away from Lake Central High School in St. John, Indiana, in handcuffs after students showed the video to their principal...
Jimmy Fallon shares hilarious and gross Thanksgiving fails
Jimmy Fallon shares hilarious and gross Thanksgiving fails

Leave it to Jimmy Fallon to help his fans get over their Thanksgiving dinner fails. On Wednesday night, the comedian and “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” host shared some of his fan-submitted Thanksgiving fails that will make you thankful that your dinner came out much better! Not even old grandpa got a pass when it came to some...
More Stories