Virginia elects first openly transgender official, metal singer Danica Roem
Virginia just elected their first openly transgender elected official, Danica Roem, who is also the singer of thrash metal band Cab Ride Home. It would be a big deal in any state, but especially in Virginia, where Danica is unseating Republican Robert G. Marshall, who introduced the state's transphobic "bathroom bill" (similar to the one that passed in North Carolina) and who has referred to himself as Virginia's "chief homophobe." Robert G. Marshall also posted an anti-Danica Roem ad on Facebook titled "Bad Judgement," which features footage of Danica's band and accuses her of "lewd" and "shocking" behavior.
Danica, who is also a journalist who served as lead reporter for Gainesville Times and Prince William Times for nine years, spoke to Noisey earlier this year as she was running for office. She said, "Just because I sing in a heavy metal band while spinning my head in circles and getting paid to do it, why can't I run for government? Why would I have to change who I am in order to run for government? I've already had to go through transformative change."
Later, she added, "And you wonder why you're not getting anything past? Oh, right, because you're focusing on divisible, exclusionary, discriminatory social issues that the governor has already told you he will veto. We're trying to make a statement about making Virginia a more inclusive commonwealth. We're trying to get rid of laws that the Supreme Court said, 'Guess what? They're not valid anymore.' Marriage equality is the law of the land, whether anyone likes it or not—including Delegate Marshall—and it's time for us to take out those parts of our state code that still make us a regressive place. We should be more inclusive, and it shouldn't matter what you look like, where you come from, how you worship, or who you love."
You can read more of the interview at Noisey. Listen to Cab Ride Home's latest album, this year's Crash The Gate, below.
Meanwhile, Virginia also just elected Democrat Ralph Northam as their next Governor.