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Danica Roem made national headlines when –– as a transgender former frontwoman for a metal band and a political newcomer –– she unseated Virginia’s most notoriously anti-LGBTQ 26-year incumbent Bob Marshall as state delegate. As if that wasn’t enough, Roem’s new political memoir, Burn the Page, uses humor and grace to inspire all of us to create our own stories.
Before Roem made history, she had to change her vision of what was possible in her own life. Doing so was a matter of storytelling: during her campaign, Roem hired an opposition researcher to dredge up every story from her past that her opponent might seize on to paint her negatively. In Burn the Page, Roem confronts all the stories her opponents tried to hedge against her. Through brutal honesty and loving authenticity, Roem demonstrates that it’s possible to embrace the low points and even transform them into our greatest strengths.
Roem argues that we can embody many things and that we can and should present to the world just as we are. As she once said in a campaign video, “I never say, ‘trans but,’ always ‘trans and.’” Roem believes that we are worthy, not despite who we are, but because of who we are.
Delegate Danica Roem, part of the historic group that flipped Republican seats in the 2017 election, is the first out-and-seated transgender state legislator in American history. Prior to her political career, Roem was a journalist and now serves as a frequent guest on national media. She and her work have been featured in USA Today, People, GQ, The New York Times, Elle, and many others, and was the subject of the GLAAD award-winning documentary This Is How We Win.
Samantha Allen is the author of the horror comedy novel Patricia Wants to Cuddle and the Lambda Literary Award finalist Real Queer America: LGBT Stories from Red States. A GLAAD Award-winning journalist, Samantha’s writing has been published by The New York Times, CNN, Rolling Stone, and more. Samantha was also Town Hall’s Podcast Artist-in-Residence in Fall of 2021, and curated the Beasts of Seattle podcast series.
Presented by Town Hall Seattle.