Virginia Delegate Danica Roem and
Olympian Gus Kenworthy will speak at the Democratic National
Committee's (DNC) LGBTQ Gala on June 25 in New York City.
Roem is the first openly transgender
elected official to speak at a major party's gala, the Washington
“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 statement. “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 [Tom] Perez knows every ZIP code counts
and when Democrats organize and compete everywhere, we win.”
DNC Chair Tom Perez called Roem “a
brilliant public servant and one of our nation's most passionate
voices for equality.”
Kenworthy's involvement in the gala was
announced last week and came just days after he and fellow out
Olympian Adam Rippon boycotted a reception at the White House for
Winter Olympians over President Donald Trump's LGBT policies.
Kenworthy, 26, in particular has
criticized the president's attempt to reintroduce a ban on
transgender troops serving openly.
"I couldn't be more excited to
join the DNC at their LGBTQ Gala this Pride season,” Kenworthy
said in a statement given to ABC News.
"Over the last year, the
Trump-Pence administration has pushed our community to the sidelines,
attacking us for who we are and who we love.”
"It's time we take a stand against
this administration by electing representatives this upcoming
November who actively support and believe in equality for everyone,”