If you found yourself feeling trodden, defeated, and utterly hopeless over the last few months, I can’t blame you. In between gun massacres blamed on lack of prayer/poor mental health (it’s hard to determine which, apparently) and inflammatory tweets via our commander in chief, room for optimism has been scarce.
But a beautiful thing in Virginia has just happened, and it may just give you a modicum of confidence in the future of our nation; 33-year-old Danica Roem became the first openly transgender person elected to a state legislature in American history. And that isn’t even the best part! The best part is, she was able to oust on of the most notoriously anti-LGBT politicians in our country, 73-year-old Bob Marshall, a self-described “chief homophobe” social conservative who introduced Virginia’s anti-trans bathroom bill and has been in power for decades. The irony is delicious.
ICYMI, Marshall was the evil mastermind behind a bill that would require Virginians to use bathrooms based on the gender they were born with. He refused to debate Roem and in campaign ads referred to her solely using male pronouns. He thought his 13 terms could protect him. He thought wrong.
The former journalist gathered support from LGBT groups and other progressive advocates across the U.S., outraising Marshall 3-to-1.
GTFO of here, “chief homophobe.” Go rot the rest of your sad hateful little days in a dark regressive sewer somewhere. The tides are turning! The resistance is strong. We! Will! Replace! You!
Roem’s win is one of fourteen red-to-blue successfully flipped seats in Virginia. Democrats also won key races in New Jersey and several liberals— including New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio— won mayoral elections. This isn’t just a big deal because it marks the first instance Democrats were able to make a heady political comeback since Trump’s election, marking a potential end to his nightmare of an administration. It’s a big deal because it demonstrates the tide is finally— FINALLY— turning against the good ol’ boys club, proving that the majority of Americans are good people who do the right thing and are simply unwilling to stand for bigotry and hate.
Needless to say, non-Nazis on Twitter were pleased:
My brain keeps returning to the sentence “a transgender heavy metal singer defeated the author of Virginia’s anti-trans bathroom bill."
— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) November 8, 2017
First thing Dems need to do when they re-take the House in 2018 is restore the 140 character limit
— Andy Richter (@AndyRichter) November 8, 2017
Not a good night for “some very fine people.”
— Danny Zuker (@DannyZuker) November 8, 2017
Hot take: Unlike US presidential elections, Virginia gubernatorial elections use an eccentric process in which the candidate that gets more votes wins, and that could prove meaningful tonight.
— Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) November 7, 2017
I’m going to sleep like I️ haven’t slept in about a year. Loving our movement tonight. Loving our grit and moxy. Loving our love. Make America More America #MAMA
— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) November 8, 2017
SO encouraged by today's election of LGBT, women, PoC, different religions, etc. Government reflecting the amazing diversity that truly makes America great. God bless.
— mark hoppus (@markhoppus) November 8, 2017
The VA House results should scare Republicans. Democratic turnout is literally overcoming gerrymandering.
— Benchmark Politics (@benchmarkpol) November 8, 2017
2004: Vote or die. What a cool slogan.
2017: Vote or die. No I'm serious. If you don't vote you could literally die.
— OhNoSheTwitnt (@OhNoSheTwitnt) November 7, 2017
And here is Danica Roem in action, in case you are curious:
You have to hear this. @pwcdanica (the first trans member of the VA assembly) is a force to be reckoned with. ?? pic.twitter.com/OnUCe0MKxb
— shauna (@goldengateblond) November 8, 2017
As Roem said, “No matter what you look like, where you come from, how you worship or who you love, if you have good public policy ideas, if you’re qualified for office, you have every right to bring your ideas to the table.” How can you argue that?