If elected to the State House, Danica Roem could become Virginia’s first openly transgender politician and the third openly transgender elected politician in the country. While her openness about her identity has solidified nationwide support among progressives, some conservatives have resorted to ugly and bigoted attacks against her for it.
The Washington Post reports that conservative think tank the American Principles Project has launched a robo-call campaign against Roem that has reached 500 voters to ask them how likely they are to support a candidate who “supports policy that requires schools to allow boys to play on girls’ sports teams and compete in girls’ leagues.”
The American Principles Project hasn’t yet endorsed Roem’s opponent, 13-term Republican incumbent Del. Robert G. Marshall. According to American Principles head Terry Schilling, “This is really about fighting against a radical agenda to force the transgender identity on children in our schools.”
Marshall’s politics are, however, in line with those of the American Principles Project—he introduced an anti-trans bathroom bill last year and who refers to Roem as a man. He also opposes gay marriage and abortion rights.
Roem responded to the robocalls on Twitter, saying that it “strengthens” her resolve. In a follow-up tweet about anti-LGBT legislation, she wrote, “it takes so much more courage to come out at trans as as a kid than it does to demagogue that child as a 73-year-old politician.”
Roem faces Marshall in the Nov. 7 election in one of the 17 districts that Virginia Democrats need in order to take the State House from Republican control.