Transgender candidate Danica Roem is hitting back at her Republican opponent in a race for a seat in the Virginia House of Delegates for refusing to consider her a woman.
During an interview with the Gainesville Times, Bob Marshall, who has refused to debate her, asked the reporter, “Why do you call Danica a female? Did Danica’s DNA change?”
“When Del. Marshall said that, his lack of understanding and empathy weren’t just disrespectful toward me personally,” Roem said in a statement released with the video. “He once again attacked every person in our community, including the teenagers in this video, who he’s singled out and stigmatized through his 26 years of discriminatory social policies designed to tear our community apart instead of unite us around our common needs.”
Roem’s ad shows her taking hormones and putting on makeup, while her voice-over explains the importance of her candidacy.
“I’m running for office because my identity shouldn’t be a big deal,” she says in the ad. “Because this shouldn’t be newsworthy or political. This is just who I am.”
“There are millions of transgender people in this country, and we all deserve representation in government,” she continues. “So when I stand up on the State House floor and the Speaker says, ‘The Gentlewoman from Manassas,’ LGBTQ kids everywhere will know they can succeed because of who they are, not despite it.”
“I hope this ad inspires everyone in our community – no matter what they look like, where they come from, how they worship or who they love – to celebrate their authentic sense of self in a more welcoming environment and a more inclusive commonwealth,” Roem said.