“When I stand up on the state house floor and the speaker says ‘the gentlewoman from Manassas,’ LGBT kids will know they can succeed because of who they are, not despite it,” said Danica Roem in a campaign ad released mere weeks before she was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates.
Unfortunately, some of her new colleagues are doing everything they can to make sure that this moment never happens.
The Washington Post reports that House Majority Leader Kirk Cox is trying to end the practice of addressing delegates with gendered titles. The exceedingly irrelevant Republican lawmaker, who wasn’t even invited to the American Music Awards, has suggested that “gentleman and “gentlelady” be replaced with the gender-neutral “delegate” instead.
Such an honor to have Danica Roem who will be the first out and seated transgender state legislator in U.S. history by my side tonight at the AMAs. Danica put up with a lot of hate and bullshit by people who said she couldn’t win but she did. Her story is so inspiring and I was so proud to have her next to me before the performance for #sorrynotsorry which is an unapologetic anthem to all haters out there. Danica, you are an inspiration to so many and I can’t wait see all the amazing things you do! 🙌🏻❤️🏳️🌈
“All members will be afforded the same respect and courtesy that this nearly 400-year-old institution commands,” a Cox spokesman told the Post. “Speaker-designee Cox believes the ‘gentlelady’ and ‘gentleman’ terminology is outdated, and that referring to everyone as ‘delegate’ is more timely and appropriate.”
Weird how this centuries-old tradition was never an issue until it meant affirming and recognizing a trans woman’s womanhood!
Although this whole thing is a bunch of disrespectful garbage, Roem seems to have found a silver lining.
I know the intent behind this wasn’t charitable toward me and I’m grateful our hopefully future Speaker @deltoscano has my back.
That said, I hope the unintended consequence of this will be non-binary Virginians feeling emboldened to run for office & win.https://t.co/HHjkkZJrXr
— Danica Roem (@pwcdanica) November 22, 2017
“I know the intent behind this wasn’t charitable toward me,” she tweeted Tuesday night, “I hope the unintended consequence of this will be non-binary Virginians feeling emboldened to run for office & win.”
Maybe one of these non-binary Virginians will even take Cox’s seat away from him? If that sounds fun (doesn’t that sound fun?), check out this overview of how to run for office in Virginia. Danica unseated a transphobic piece of shit. Why not you?
Photography:Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post via Getty Images