Danica Roem to Be Among Headliners at DNC LGBTQ Gala

Roem joins previously announced featured speaker Gus Kenworthy and becomes the first openly transgender elected official to speak at a major party gala


The Democratic National Committee is proud to announce Virginia House Delegate Danica Roem as a featured speaker and special guest at the upcoming 19th annual DNC LGBTQ Gala.  Roem will become the first openly transgender elected official to speak at a major party gala in U.S. history.


The Advocate: Danica Roem to Speak at Democrats' LGBTQ Gala


Last year, the voters in Virginia’s 13th district elected Roem to represent them in Richmond because she is focused on improving transportation options, expanding access to quality health care and creating economic opportunity for all Virginians. With Roem’s historic victory, she ousted a Republican and self-appointed “chief homophobe” to become the first transgender person to ever serve in a state legislature.


“When Democrats flipped 15 Republican seats in the Virginia House of Delegates last year, we sent a signal across the country that no seat should go uncontested,” said Virginia Delegate Danica Roem. “Now, as we approach the final six-month stretch of the 2018 cycle, it’s so important to make sure every Democrat from the school board to the Senate has the resources and tools they need to fight and win. DNC Chair Perez knows every ZIP code counts and when Democrats organize and compete everywhere, we win.” 


In 2017, the Democratic National Committee invested $1.5 million in Virginia to elect Governor Ralph Northam and Democrats up and down the ticket. The resources raised from the 2017 LGBTQ Gala helped the DNC double the number of organizers on the ground and expanded the House of Delegates battlefield,where Democrats flipped an astounding 15 seats in the chamber, including victories by the first-ever Latina delegates and the first-ever Vietnamese American elected at any level in Virginia. 


“Danica Roem is a brilliant public servant and one of our nation’s most passionate voices for equality,” said DNC Chair Tom Perez. “Even in the face of hatred and bigotry from this administration, Danica has never stopped fighting for the issues that matter to the hardworking families she represents. And there’s no question that her community is stronger for her leadership and her commitment to the Democratic values of inclusion and opportunity for all. “


“Danica is a trailblazer and hero, giving visibility to the transgender community, inspiring Americans across the country, and showing that great candidates matter in tough races said DNC Finance Chair Henry Munoz. “With her help, and by following her history-making example, Democrats are going to win victories across the board this fall – from statehouses to Congress. We are grateful that she’ll join us to raise resources later this year.”


The 19th annual gala will take place on June 25th in New York City.


In 2017, DNC Chair Tom Perez appointed Dr. Marisa Richmond as a DNC at-large member, the first transgender person of color to serve as a member of the DNC. In 2003, Dr. Richmond became the first president of the Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition. She was also appointed to the Nashville Metro Human Relations Commission, the first time a transgender person has been named to a local government board or commission in the history of Tennessee.


The LGBTQ Gala began in 1999 as a small dinner held by Andy Tobias, former DNC Treasurer, and has grown to be one of the DNC’s biggest and most successful events. This annual gala is among the DNC’s marquee events. In 2017, the gala took place at Gotham Hall in New York City, with Joe Biden as the keynote speaker.