She will always be the first, but four years later, she is no longer the only person in the US who identifies as transgender to be elected and serve in a state legislative body. It’s not a well populated trail, but one she is proud to have blazed.

“They were willing to look at me and they go, ‘Yeah, we know she’s trans and she’ll do a great job,'” Roem said of her constituents in an interview with CNN earlier this month.

“I never say ‘trans but,’ always ‘trans and.’ Because it’s like, no, I don’t hide who I am. People know exactly who I am here.”

And during this Pride Month, Roem has a message to the younger people in the LGBTQ community who say they don’t like politics: “When you are an LGBTQ person, you have to care.”

Roem represents Virginia’s 13th District in the House of Delegates — an area near the home of the first major battle of the Civil War. Roem jokes that there are still more things named after Confederate general…

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