U.S. Officially Has Its First Openly Transgender State Legislator | Fairygodboss
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The U.S. Officially Has Its First-Ever Openly Transgender State Legislator
Adobe Stock / mbruxelle

We have a long way to go in making the world of politics more diverse and inclusive, but some of the victories celebrated on Election Day (Nov. 7) suggested we’re moving in the right direction.

Danica Roem, a former journalist who won a seat in the Virginia House of Delegates, made history as the first-ever openly transgender state legislator in the U.S. The 33-year-old Democrat, who hails from Manassas, was up against Bob Marshall (R), 73, who had held the seat since 1992 and has consistently attempted to restrict the rights of the LGBT community. In fact, Marshall has deemed himself Virginia’s “chief homophobe,” he’s refused to refer to Roem using female pronouns, and he’s authored a failed “bathroom bill” that aimed to require people to use bathrooms based on their gender at birth.

Needless to say, even though Marshall refused to engage in debates with Roem during the campaign, the race garnered national attention.  

Meanwhile, Vi Lyles, 66, was elected as the first African American woman mayor in Charlotte. After defeating incumbent Democrat Jennifer Roberts and state Sen. Joel Ford in the primary, Lyles, who’s served two terms on council, beat Councilmember Kenny Smith (R) on Tuesday.

And in Seattle, Jenny Durkan (D) also celebrated an important victory, becoming the city’s first female mayor since 1926. After a contentious primary race, Durkan ultimately beat Cary Moon, earning 61 percent of the vote as of Tuesday night.   

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