History Transcending: Transgender Candidates of 2017
Danica Roem, is the first openly transgender candidate to win a seat in a state legislature in American history. She ran in the state of Virginia against incumbent Bob Marshall, who held the seat for 25 years. Roem ran on local issues, campaigning for infrastructure, teacher pay, equality, and jobs. Marshall mostly ran against his opponent, placing ads on TV misgendering Roem. He also considered himself the state's "homophobe-in-chief", lauding his own version of the anti-LGBT legislation which would have prevented transgender people from using the restroom that coincides with their gender identity. Danica beat Marshall by a double-digit percentage and broke a barrier for the community.
Andrea Jenkins is one of two transgender candidates that ran for city council in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The other, a transman named Phillipe Cunningham came in a close second in his race for a city council seat. Jenkins, however, won her race with 70% of the vote. She has worked as an aide to the city council for twelve years, as well as a curator for the Transgender Oral History Project. She also participates in the Trans Lives Matter movement. She also was the Grand Marshal for the Twin Cities parade in 2015. She is also a writer, poet, activist and performance artist.
In 2018, there are a plethora of transgender candidates running for public office all over the country, including one for Governor in Connecticut. As a community, we should do our utmost to support these candidates by spreading the word in their/our communities and pushing to get them as many votes as possible. I look forward to how the candidates elected yesterday will perform in their roles and how we as a community will start having a say in public policy at all levels of government.