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Virginia Statehouse candidate Danica Roem has released a powerful new campaign ad that puts her identity as a transgender woman front and center.
The 30-second video is meant to chastise her Republican opponent, Robert Marshall, for making numerous transphobic remarks and refusing to address her as a woman. It opens with a close-up on Roem as she takes her hormones and puts on makeup. Over the images of her morning routine, Roem says, "I'm running for office because my identity shouldn't be a big deal. Because this shouldn't be newsworthy or political, because this is just who I am. There are millions of transgender people in this country and we all deserve representation in our government."
The shot changes to the faces of young queer people, and Roem creates a hypothetical world in which queer people have earned that representation. "When I stand up on the statehouse floor and the speaker says 'the gentlewoman from Manassas,'" she says, "LGBTQ kids everywhere will know that they can succeed because of who they are, not despite it."
Considering Roem has already out-fundraised Marshall 5 to 1, that hypothetical world might be just around the corner.