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1st Transgender Elected State Lawmaker Speaks at UVA Symposium

Posted: Oct 03, 2018 11:03 PM Updated:
Danica Roem aims to more students involved in the political process Danica Roem aims to more students involved in the political process
Danica Roem Danica Roem
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

The United States’ first openly transgender elected state lawmaker paid a visit to the University of Virginia to talk to students about her new program.

Danica Roem visited UVA on Wednesday, October 3, to share her story as part of a new program to get students involved in the political process.

Virginia Delegate Danica Roem was the keynote speaker for the Ele(Q)t Project, which is a leadership symposium that focuses on motivating and training young LGBTQ leaders to run for political office.

Roem represents Virginia's 13th District and was a journalist for more than a decade in Virginia and Maryland before being elected to office in 2017.

On Wednesday night, Roem spoke about her campaign for delegate and addressed issues the LGBTQ community faces when it comes to politics.

Roem says she hopes this event encourages students to get politically involved.

"They can succeed because of who they are not despite it, and not for what discriminatory politicians tell them they're supposed to be,” Roem said. “That they can be who they are and be that well."

Roem says she knows what it feels like to face stigma and to be dehumanized, but she didn't want that to be the focus of her campaign.

Roem was one of many LGBTQ leaders who spoke at Wednesday night's symposium, which was sponsored by the UVA Queer Student Union, the UVA Office for Diversity and Equity, Office for Equal Opportunity & Civil Rights, the UVA Lambda Law Alliance, the Serpentine Society, the UVA Office of the Vice President and Chief Officer for Diversity and Equity, King & Spalding LLP, Covington & Burling LLP, and MarieBette Cafe and Bakery.