Lt. Governor Winsome Sears Misgenders Senator, Offers Non-Apology Apology

Richmond, Virginia—When Lieutenant Governor  Winsome Sears referred to Senator Danica Roem, the first transgender person elected to the Virginia legislature, as “sir” on the Senate floor today, she added to her long, ignominious record of transphobic remarks and anti-LGBTQ+ views. Roem, who served as the Delegate from Manassas from 2018-2024 and was elected to the Senate in 2024, uses she/her pronouns. A brief rundown of Sears’ troubling history of anti-LGBTQ+ commentary: 

  • In a 2004 op-ed for the Daily Press, Sears wrote, “I also believe our society has gone immeasurably beyond almost all standards in accommodating the homosexual community [over] the last couple of decades.”
  • In 2021, Sears appeared in a campaign ad with controversial pastor EW Jackson, who has called LGBTQ+ people “servants of Satan.” 

The Senate, which is voting on a critical slate of post-crossover bills today, was forced into recess twice after Sears misgendered Senator Roem, refused to apologize, and then issued a rambling statement where she stated her lack of desire to “offend.”

“Senator Danica Roem was gracious in the face of the Lieutenant Governor’s disrespect, but the fact is that she shouldn’t have to deal with that nonsense in her workplace,” said LaTwyla Matthias, Executive Director of Progress VA. “We support Senator Roem and every other LGBTQ+ community member who has to face this kind of unprofessional conduct from people in power. Winsome Sears’s tired old bigotry is a relic of a previous age, and we applaud Senator Roem and other progressive voices in the General Assembly for their continued work to move our Commonwealth forward.”