Trans lawmaker Danica Roem gets powerful words of Equal Rights Amendment tattooed on her arm

Danica Roem tattoo

Trans lawmaker Danica Roem has had the first 24 words of the Equal Rights Amendment tattooed onto her arm in a powerful statement on gender equality.

Roem – who became the first openly trans person elected to the Virginia Assembly in 2017 – shared a photo of herself getting the tattoo on Twitter.

The tattoo reads: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” Roem got the tattoo on Sunday, the night before Virginia became the 38th state to ratify the amendment.

Trans lawmaker Danica Roem said getting the tattoo was ‘a very special moment.’

Roem always wanted to “get ink done,” she told the Washington Post.

“To get this done the day before we cast the final vote, that’s a very special moment that will outlive my time in public office,” she said.

Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

The recently passed amendment is part of a wave of new legislative moves in Virginia that will benefit the local LGBT+ community. The state also updated hate crime legislation to include crime on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and repealed a defunct ban on same-sex marriage.

Roem, ever the multi-tasker, used her right hand to mark up a 26-page bill while the tattoo artist inked the words onto her left arm.

The Equal Rights Amendment has been on the table for decades but faced opposition.

The tattoo parlour’s co-owner Mike Piwowarski told WAMU that Roem is not the first person asking for a tattoo of the ERA – but said she is the first politician to do so.

The Equal Right Amendment has a long history in the United States. It was first introduced to Congress in 1923. It was finally approved in 1971, and went out to state legislatures for approval. But a number of states failed to ratify the amendment, meaning it never entered the constitution.

The amendment has recently had a resurgence and has been ratified by Nevada, Illinois and Virginia. The attorney generals of those states are now suing to have the amendment added to the constitution.