MINNEAPOLIS — History was made Tuesday night as transgender women won in two races. Andrea Jenknins was elected to the city council in Minneapolis and Danica Roem was elected to the state House in Virginia.
Danica became only the second transgender person to win election to a state legislature in U.S. history, defeating a Republican candidate who’d written an anti-trans “bathroom bill.”
From the Washington Post:
Democrat Danica Roem ousted longtime incumbent Del. Robert G. Marshall (R) Tuesday, according to preliminary returns, becoming the first openly transgender elected official in Virginia — and one of very few in the nation.
The race between Roem, 33, and Marshall, 73, focused on traffic and other local issues in Prince William County but also exposed the nation’s fault lines over gender identity. It pitted a local journalist who began her physical gender transition four years ago against an outspoken social conservative who earlier this year introduced a “bathroom bill” that died in committee.
Danica outraised Marshall and had volunteers knocking on doors across the district. Marshall refused to debate Danica at all and he and his supporters referred to Danica using male pronouns.
Andrea made history herself by becoming the first transgender person of color to win election to office on a major city council.
From Fox 9 in Minneapolis:
In her acceptance speech, Jenkins said, “As an African American trans-identified woman, I know firsthand the feeling of being marginalized, left out, thrown under the bus. Those days are over. We don’t just want a seat at the table, we want to set the table.”
UPDATE: We’re also hearing of transgender people winning local office in Erie, Penn., Palm Springs, Calif., and Georgia. Seattle also now has a lesbian mayor and a gay school board member. We’ll update more as we can.
UPDATE, 11 a.m., Nov. 8: Prizm Magazine in Ohio is reporting that LGBTQ candidates were elected to city councils Tuesday in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Newark and Toledo, as 11 of 20 LGBTQ contenders won local offices across Ohio.