James Roesener of New Hampshire Is First Trans Man to Win a US State Legislature
Roesener's win comes five years after Danica Roem became the first openly transgender person elected to and seated in a U.S. state legislature, when she won a seat in Virginia's House of Delegates.
James Roesener is the first openly transgender man to win a state legislature election in the U.S., according to the LGBTQ Victory Fund.
Roesener won the race for New Hampshire's 22nd state House District, Ward 8, according to the Fund.
The 26-year-old said in his biography on the fund’s site that he believes “...it is imperative that all individuals have the ability to thrive in New Hampshire.
“We need a leadership that is invested in defending the freedom [of] all people by taking away barriers to shelter, education, healthcare, voting, and other basic necessities for a quality life."
While Roesener is the first openly transgender man to be elected to state legislature, he is not the first transgender lawmaker to be elected in New Hampshire. Others include state representatives Gerri Cannon and Lisa Bunker, according to NHPR.
According to the The Victory Fund, more than 1,000 LGBTQ+ individuals ran for office in the 2022 midterms.
There are currently only eight openly transgender state legislators in the entire U.S., and none of them are trans men. Only six out trans men serve in elected office across the country, according to a tracker from the LGBTQ Victory Institute.
Roesener's win comes five years after Danica Roem became the first openly transgender person elected to and seated in a U.S. state legislature, when she won a seat in Virginia's House of Delegates. She was reelected to a third term last November.
According to NPR, Annise Parker, former Houston mayor and current president & CEO of the Victory Fund, said in a statement that Roesener is prepared to enact legislation that will "deliver lasting results for his community," from protecting reproductive rights to increasing investment in New Hampshire's education and health care systems.
Parker lauded Roesener for "shattering a lavender ceiling and proving that America is ready for trans men leaders in our state legislatures," in what she called a win for New Hampshire and for trans people everywhere, according to NPR.
"At a time of intensifying transphobia at all levels of government and society, he showed incredible courage throughout his historic campaign," Parker said in the statement.
"Trans people — and trans men in particular — remain severely underrepresented in government at every level, but we are confident his win will inspire many more trans people to run for office."
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