Review of Burn the Page, by Danica Roem

Burn the Page

A True Story of Torching Doubts, Blazing Trails, and Igniting Change

by Danica Roem

Viking, 2022. 296 pages.
Review written November 12, 2022, from a library book

Note: I wrote this review a year ago and didn’t get it posted, but now Danica Roem has just been elected Virginia’s first transgender state senator.

I couldn’t resist reading Danica Roem’s story. She’s the first transgender delegate in Virginia, and she represents a district right next door to me, so she’s a local political force. With a transgender daughter myself, I’m always interested in stories of transgender people, and am proud of how Danica Roem is representing our region.

So I did enjoy this book for those reasons. Mind you, there’s a lot in the book about her love for heavy metal and leading a metal band which I didn’t relate to at all and started to gloss over. She’s also from a different generation than me, so the story of her growing up years didn’t hit any common threads.

But I like hearing about her work first as a local reporter and then as a political leader. She gets to know her constituents and honestly wants to bring their concerns to Richmond to make a difference. And I also like hearing about her joy in living as the woman she’s always known herself to be, and finally daring to make that public.

In all, she’s got an inspiring story. And a refreshing voice in politics. Here’s how she finishes the last chapter before the Epilogue:

For all of that, your most honest internal default setting, in which you don’t trip over yourself and stumble over how you think people want you to be, is to just be authentic. You don’t have to keep track of who you are to some people and who you are to others. I say this as someone who inherently wants to be liked: If they don’t respect you, they’re not worth your time. If they do, though, let ’em know who you are, not who you think they want you to be.

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Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but the views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

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