RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia state Del. Danica Roem (D-Manassas)’s ceremonial swearing in took place on Saturday.
More than 100 of Roem’s family members, friends and supporters were gathered inside the Virginia House of Delegates chamber as House Clerk G. Paul Nardo administered the oath. Roem, who was wearing her trademark rainbow headscarf, spoke after the swearing in.
Roem at one point invited an 11-year-old transgender girl from Roanoke and her mother who she met during the campaign and two other young people to stand next to her. Roem gave each of them a hug after she spoke directly to them.
“This member pin that I have right now; this is on behalf of the people of the 13th District,” said Roem. “This pin belongs to the people of the 13th District.”
“This pin and every pin like it for you, for you and for you, this is ours . . . this is ours too,” she added as her supporters clapped.
Roem last November defeated then-state Del. Bob Marshall who had represented the 13th District since 1992. Roem on Jan. 10 became the first openly trans 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) is the first out lesbian elected to the General Assembly. State Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) and state Dels. Mark Sickles (D-Fairfax County) and Mark Levine (D-Alexandria) are openly gay.
Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez previously told the Washington Blade he wanted to “go there on day one because that will be a remarkable moment for” Roem. Perez did not attend Roem’s official swearing in — which coincided with the beginning of the 2018 legislative session — or Saturday’s ceremony.