Trans Lawmaker Storms Out Of Room After Being Called ‘Sir’

In a recent incident, a transgender lawmaker, Sen. Danica Roem, walked out of the Virginia Senate chamber in protest after being referred to as “sir” by Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears. Roem, a Democrat and the first transgender person to serve in the Virginia legislature identifies as a woman despite being biologically male. The incident occurred during a general session when Roem asked about the votes required to pass a bill with an emergency clause.

Roem addressed Lt. Gov. Sears, saying, “Madam President, how many votes would it take to pass this bill with the emergency clause?” Sears responded, “That would be four-fifths, Senator.” Roem continued, “And what would be the exact number of that, Madam President?” Sears replied, “Yes, sir, that would be 32.”

Following this exchange, Roem audibly put down the microphone and left the chamber, abstaining from the subsequent roll call vote. During the session, Sears later apologized for the incident, expressing her commitment to treating everyone with respect and dignity. However, she did not specifically apologize for misgendering Roem.

“I upset Sen. Roem,” Sears acknowledged. “Let it be known I am not here to upset anyone. I am here to do the job the people of Virginia have called me to do: treat everyone with respect and dignity. I have, at times, not been afforded that same respect and dignity.”

As the president of the Senate, Sears emphasized her expectation of being treated with respect and dignity and extended the same courtesy to others. She stressed that she never intended to offend anyone and hoped for mutual understanding and forgiveness among colleagues.

Reflecting on the incident, Sears urged for kindness and grace among the senators, highlighting the importance of setting a positive example for future generations. “I have seen us conduct ourselves in ways that we would not expect of our children, nieces, or nephews,” she remarked. “I would hope that we would take this opportunity to be kind to each other, to be gracious to each other, to be about the people’s business.”