Document Type

Research Paper

Publication Date

Spring 2018


Transgender, LGBTQ, Danica Roem, Robert Marshall, Virginia, election, first, first, legislature, journalism, New York Times, USA Today, Washington Post


Danica Roem’s race in Virginia against incumbent Robert Marshall drew national attention, despite being an election for a state legislature seat. This is because Roem, a transgender woman and former journalist, was running against a man who once referred to himself as “chief homophobe” and introduced a failed bill to make it legal to discriminate against transgender, non-binary and genderqueer individuals. Prominent newspapers like the New York Times and USA Today covered Roem’s election, and the Washington Post had thorough coverage of Roem’s candidacy as well, as the election took place in its regional coverage zone. These papers' coverage over the span of the month after the election was analyzed against GLAAD's best practices for journalists covering transgender people, in order to determine where the media still has room to improve when responsible covering transgender people and issues


This paper was nominated for the Libraries Undergraduate Research Award by Dr. Brian J. Bowe, faculty in Western Washington University’s Department of Journalism.




Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this document for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author’s written permission.