The infamous transgender bathroom bill. Virginia. The Chief Homophobe.
The man who helped draft and create the transgender bathroom bill to mandate and regulate who gets to use what bathroom based on their assigned sex at birth was defeated in the House of Representatives race in Virginia, earlier this week. Why was this historic? Well, the “chief homophobe” was defeated by the very person who he spewed most of his hate towards, Danica Roem, a transgender woman who ran for the Democratic Party. The smile on the faces of many who support LGBTQ rights nationwide reigned true this week. Her historic win as the first transgender woman to become an elected official signaled great changes during our polarizing political times.
Unfortunately, many progressives are stuck with Donald Trump for another several years but Virginia’s historic election was significant for many reasons. First, Danica Roem’s victory was a victory for the Democratic Party. Virginia has recently shifted more towards the progressive side shying away from conservativism and being able to get more Democrats in the House and Senate dominated by Republicans currently is crucial. Second, this election cycle was a signal to the President by many progressives that his hateful rhetoric will not stand. Let us not forget that Virginia was also home to the Charlottesville riots that occurred early this year. There is a lot at stake with changing and not having a government in power that is conducive to hate like Mr. Trump. Even though Sir “Chief Homophobe” was an incumbent which significantly raises one’s chance of being elected again because of your known presence in the community and financial support, he lost because the people of Virginia no longer support his message. Third and most importantly, this success for a transgender woman was a necessary win for humanity. A transgender woman in power will hopefully give my generation and those beyond it, the fuel to power their dreams no matter what is between (or not between) their legs. One’s gender should not stand in the way of being able to pursue a political dream or any kind for that matter. If Hillary Clinton’s historic run is not proof enough. The “Chief Homophobe” focused too much on disparaging Roem and her gender/ identity politics that he failed to see that he was not a representative for the people. Danica said it best:
“Roem dedicated her win “’to every person who’s ever been singled out, who’s ever been stigmatized, who’s ever been the misfit, who’s ever been the kid in the corner, who’s ever needed someone to stand up for them when they didn’t have a voice of their own. This one is for you.”’ (Olivo)
I am hopeful that this unprecedented election will continue more and more and that gender will matter less and less even though there are politicians like the “Chief Homophobe” and Trump working to aggravate the people and further divide them based on identity politics. It is time to have a sigh of relief and celebrate but it is also important to continue to work hard to improve the lives of the marginalized and silenced in America.