Teen makes history as first trans Va. Senate page

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Sean Bender-Prouty was a Virginia Senate page during the 2018 legislative session. Bender-Prouty is the first openly transgender teen chosen to take part in the program. Photo by Penelope Bender.

RICHMOND, VA. — A teenager from Arlington this year became the Virginia Senate’s first openly transgender page.

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Danica Roem will be featured speaker at DNC’s LGBTQ gala

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Virginia Delegate Danica Roem will be a featured speaker at the Democratic National Committee’s 19th annual LGBTQ gala on June 25 in New York City. Roem will be the first openly transgender elected official to speak at a major party’s gala.

“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,” Roem said in a press release. “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.”

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Madaleno mocks Democratic opponent at Victory Fund brunch

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Maryland state Sen. Rich Madaleno speaks at the LGBTQ Victory Fund’s annual National Champagne Brunch in D.C. on April 8, 2018. (D-Montgomery County)

Maryland state Sen. Rich Madaleno (D-Montgomery County) on Sunday at the LGBTQ Victory Fund’s National Champagne Brunch in D.C. mocked a Democratic opponent who said he “prances around Annapolis.”

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Florida House candidate Anna Eskamani makes TIME magazine cover

By : Jeremy Williams
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Anna Eskamani, who is running for Florida House District 47, is featured on the cover of the latest issue of TIME magazine in a collage of 48 women who are running for, or have been elected to, a U.S. political office.

The cover story titled “The Avengers: First They Marched, Now They’re Running,” takes a look at the record number of women running for political office in the U.S. since the 2016 election of President Donald Trump.

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Landmark ruling recognizes marriage, trans rights in the Americas

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The Inter-American Court of Human Rights on Tuesday issued a landmark ruling that recognizes same-sex marriage and transgender rights in the Western Hemisphere.

The seven judges who issued the ruling stated governments “must recognize and guarantee all the rights that are derived from a family bond between people of the same sex.” Six of the seven judges also agreed that it is necessary for governments “to guarantee access to all existing forms of domestic legal systems, including the right to marriage, in order to ensure the protection of all the rights of families formed by same-sex couples without discrimination.”

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Watermark’s Top headlines of 2017

By : Watermark Staff
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2017 was a roller coaster of a year. Our highs were marked with great achievements and big celebrations, and our lows were filled with the passing of great LGBTQ leaders and fear-filled headlines we thought we would never read.

Below we look back on the top 5 LGBTQ headlines out of Central Florida, Tampa Bay, from the state of Florida and across the nation, and the world.

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Trans of Thought: Claiming our voice

By : Melody Maia Monet
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About a month ago, I was asked by a friend to present to his class at the University of Central Florida.

He teaches a course on representations of gender in entertainment, and because the subscribers to my YouTube channel seem to think I’m entertaining, and I do indeed have a gender, I was the obvious choice to address his students and tell them my story. This was the third time I had been the designated transgender speaker for this course in the last few years, but it was the first time I had gotten the brainwave to ask the class a question to confirm a trend I had noticed developing over time.

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Demi Lovato brings Danica Roem to the AMAs to speak out against bullying

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Demi Lovato invited Danica Roem, the first openly transgender person seated in a state legislature, to walk the American Music Awards red carpet with her to speak out against bullying at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday.

Lovato and Roem were brought together as part of GLAAD’s Together initiative, a campaign for all marginalized communities to stand together.

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Wins for trans candidates seen as nationwide clarion call

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE: From left, Virginia Delegate-elect Danica Roem (D-Prince William), Erie School Board Member-elect Tyler Titus, Minneapolis City Council Member-elect Andrea Jenkins and Palm Springs City Council Member-elect Lisa Middleton. (Roem and Jenkins photos courtesy of respective campaigns; Titus and Middleton photos courtesy Facebook)

The historic wins by transgender candidates on Tuesday are being widely interpreted to have nationwide implications, although LGBT political observers have different takes on what those conclusions are.

The most high-profile win Tuesday night was transgender journalist Danica Roem’s victory in Virginia over Del. Bob Marshall, who has a decades-long history of anti-LGBT views and this year introduced a bill that would have banned transgender people from using public restrooms consistent with their gender identity. She’ll be the first openly transgender person elected and seated to a state legislator in the history of the United States.

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Roem defeats Marshall in Va. House of Delegates race

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE:  Virginia state Del.-elect Danica Roem (D-Manassas) speaks to supporters in Lake Ridge, Va., on Nov. 7, 2017, after she ousted state Del. Bob Marshall (R-Prince William County) by a nearly double-digit margin. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

LAKE RIDGE, Va. — Danica Roem on Tuesday soundly defeated Virginia state Del. Bob Marshall (R-Prince William County) in a race that garnered national attention.

With 100 percent of precincts in the 13th District reporting, Roem defeated Marshall by a 54-45 percent margin.

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Roem defeats Marshall in Va. House of Delegates race

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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LAKE RIDGE, Va. — Danica Roem on Tuesday defeated Virginia state Del. Bob Marshall (R-Prince William County).

With 95 percent of precincts reporting, Roem is ahead of Marshall by a 55-45 percent margin.

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Nat’l trans group launches political arm for impact on elections

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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A leading national transgender group has launched a political arm aimed at electing candidates to advance transgender rights.

The National Center for Transgender Equality, which has existed since 2003 as 501(c)(3) lobbying group, announced its new 501(c)(4) at event Tuesday evening at the D.C.-based law firm of Squire, Patton, Boggs.

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