Metro Weekly

Danica Roem used a troll’s anti-trans message to raise thousands for her campaign

Roem turned an anti-trans attack around, using it to raise funds for her reelection campaign

Danica Roem
Danica Roem – Photo by Julian Vankim

Virginia Del. Danica Roem, the nation’s first openly transgender state legislator, perfectly responded to a troll by using his anti-trans hate to raise funds for her reelection campaign.

Someone by the name of Joe messaged the Manassas, Va., lawmaker to tell her, “No such thing as trans gender [sic]. Only delusional people with mental disorders.”

Rather than ignore the troll, Roem instead opted to use his hatred against him.

“Dear Joe,” Roem replied, “Thank you so much for your message — not for the message itself but for your decision to send it to me because I’m going to screenshot our conversation thread here, post it to my Twitter page and use it to raise money for my re-election campaign.”

She continued: “I would tell you to feel free to contribute too but, really, in so many ways, you already have. 😊”

Roem shared the exchange on her Twitter account, adding a smiling emoji and the link to her donation page.

Joe’s attempt to troll Roem spectacularly backfired, as less than 24 hours later Roem reported more than $5,000 in donations.

“We’re now at $5,340 from 214 donations in less than 24 hours,” Roem tweeted. “It’s… soooo good. *chef’s kiss*”

Roem is standing for reelection this year and hopes to repeat her historic 2019 election campaign which saw her become the first openly transgender person re-elected to a state legislature, after being first elected as delegate in 2017.

Amid a blue wave which swept Virginia and handed control of the state to Democrats, Roem increased her share of the vote, garnering 57% in 2019 versus 54% in 2017.

She also succeeded despite attempts by conservatives to turn transgender rights into a wedge issue, including running an anti-trans advert accusing Roem of promoting an “extreme social agenda.”

Earlier this year, legislation spearheaded by Roem led to Virginia becoming the 12th state to ban the use of gay or trans “panic” defenses, in which defendants attempt to use a victim’s identity to argue they were justified in using lethal force against a victim, even if the victim hits on them or makes a pass at them.

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