January 10, 2018 at 12:12 pm EST | by Michael K. Lavers
Danica Roem sworn in
Danica Roem, gay news, Washington Blade

Virginia state Del. Danica Roem (D-Manassas) was sworn in on Jan. 10, 2018. She is the first openly transgender person ever seated in a state legislature in the U.S. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia state Del. Danica Roem (D-Manassas) was sworn in on Wednesday.

Roem last November defeated former state Del. Bob Marshall, an anti-LGBT Republican who had represented the 13th District since 1992. Roem, a former journalist, is the first openly transgender person ever seated in a state legislature in the U.S.

Roem is among the five openly LGBT members of the Virginia General Assembly.

State Del. Dawn Adams (D-Richmond), who defeated former state Del. Manoli Loupassi (R-Richmond), is the first out lesbian elected to the General Assembly. They join state Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) and state Dels. Mark Sickles (D-Fairfax County) and Mark Levine (D-Alexandria).

Roem and Adams were sworn-in on the same day the 2018 legislative session began.

The Republicans currently have a 51-49 seat majority in the Virginia House of Delegates.

Governor-elect Ralph Northam and Lieutenant Gov.-elect Justin Fairfax, who are both Democrats, will be inaugurated on Saturday. Democrat Attorney General Mark Herring, who was re-elected last November, will be sworn-in for a second term on the same day.

“Increasingly across Virginia and the rest of the country LGBT people are getting an overdue seat at the table,” Equality Virginia Executive Director James Parrish told the Washington Blade after Roem and Adams were sworn in.

“Virginia made history today with the swearing in of Delegates Dawn Adams and Danica Roem and a message has been sent that the voices of LGBT Virginians will be heard,” added Parrish. “I know that the people in their districts and throughout the Commonwealth will be well-served by Adams and Roem, who join Delegates Mark Levine and Marc Sickles and Senator Adam Ebbin as LGBT members of the General Assembly.”

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

  • Sean Sullivan

    Danica Roem is not the first transgender person ever seated in a state legislator. That honor falls to Althea Garrison in Massachussets in 1993. Also, there is at least one other typo in your story. “The joined” should be “They join”. As a fellow graduate of the Jandoli School of Journalism at St. Bonaventure University, I’m sure Delegate Roem would appreciate this correction. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Althea_Garrison

    • Jacob Andrew Clark

      Incorrect, she is the first “openly” trans person. The author didn’t typo. Althea Garrison did not out herself prior to being elected. Danica did.

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