Danica Roem is an American journalist and politician of the Democratic Party from Northern Virginia. In the 2017 elections, she was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates. She will become the first openly transgender person to both be elected to a U.S. state’s legislature and serve her term.
Roem was born in Prince William County, Virginia. She attended St. Bonaventure University in New York, where she majored in journalism. After graduating, she returned to Virginia where she worked for nine years as the lead reporter for the Gainesville Times and Prince William Times, covering education policy and local politics. She won awards from the Virginia Press Association seven times. In addition to her journalism, Roem is the vocalist of the heavy metal band Cab Ride Home.
In 2017, Roem ran as a Democrat in in the 2017 election for the 13th District of the Virginia House of Delegates against anti-LGBT Republican incumbent Bob Marshall, who has held the office for the past 25 years. Marshall was responsible for co-authoring the discriminatory “bathroom bill” and refused to debate Roem or use her correct pronouns during the election campaign. Roem responded with a video in which she said that “there are millions of transgender people in the country, and we all deserve representation in government.”
Roem gained endorsements from local school board members, former Democratic delegate nominees, the Victory Fund, Emily’s List, Democratic women’s PAC Virginia’s List, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee,
the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and former vice president Joe Biden. Following President Donald Trump’s announcement of a unilateral ban on transgender people serving in the U.S. military, Roem received a $50,000 donation from Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele. During her campaign, she out-raised Marshall by a 5 to 1 margin, collecting over $370,000.
In November 2017, Roem became the first openly transgender person to both be elected to a U.S. state’s legislature and will be the first to serve her term. After her win was announced, Roem made a speech which included a dedication “to every person who’s ever been singled out, who’s ever been stigmatised, who’s ever been the misfit, whose ever been the kid in the corner, whose ever needed someone to stand up for them when they didn’t have a voice of their own … This one’s for you,”