Danica Roem, the newly elected representative from the 13th district of Virginia in the North of the state, comes after a slew of GOP losses across the state and country.

Following Tuesday’s elections in Virginia, Florida, Minnesota among other states, progressive voters such as Roem have been displacing incumbents–from city council members all the way up to state governors.

This win, in particular, is novel and seemingly out of the blue, if one takes into account the local and regional history of northern Virginia. The state, and it’s residents expand their pages from deep-rooted social conservatism, where time and time again was one of the last states to give way to more progressive causes throughout history, such as segregation and slavery, let alone Trans* and greater LGBT+ rights.

Alas, what makes Danica Roem’s win that much more amazing, is that the senator she had removed from office–the incumbent Republican Bob Marshall (R) Virginia–was ironically the very same creator of the infamous “bathroom bill” that had failed earlier this year and cause contentious debate across the state and greater U.S.

Regarding Republican Bob Marshall’s past as an anti-LGBT activist, in 1992 Marshall had taken office and stood against all acts of social change regarding such pertinent LGBT issues. Marshall over multiple years had stated that the rights of Christians and anti-LGBT members of the population were being discriminated against with the advent of the “homosexual agenda”, harking that the nature of such individuals–and Trans* people–go against the very nature of God himself.

The increasing visibility of Trans* individuals in our daily lives, friendships, and familial ties are not to go unmentioned. As without such increasing visibility, perhaps Roem would not have unseated Bob Marshall. Yet with this still in mind, it will certainly still be an uphill battle with Trans* rights being on the helm of social issues in 2017, as well as being more so on the forefront of most ’Democrats’ agendas.

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Peter Viverito

Peter Viverito, a New York native, is a recent University of Amsterdam graduate with an M.S. in International Relations. Currently, Peter is working on securing a path into the global marketing field. More so, he is looking to share his interests in backpacking, linguistics, and sustainability advocacy.