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Sarah McBride: First Transgender State Senator in U.S History

After a long history of working in politics, Sarah McBride wins the state senate election. This makes her the first transgender state senator as well as the first LGBTQ+ person elected in Delaware.

Photo Courtesy: CNN News

After Tuesday’s election, Democrat Sarah McBride was announced as a state senate elect for Delaware. Her victory would make her the first-ever transgender state senator in U.S History as well as the first LGBTQ+ person elected in Delaware. She ran against Republican candidate Steve Washington and won 73% of the vote.

Sarah McBride was born in Wilmington, Delaware on August 9th, 1990. She graduated from Cab Calloway School of Arts as well as American University with a bachelor’s degree. McBride first came out to her family over Christmas break during college. Her parents were supportive but immediately concerned for her wellbeing as well as their ability to accept her. After coming out at home, McBride decided to give more time for herself and her parents to adjust before coming out publicly. McBride publicly came out in the school’s newspaper The Eagle during her last year at American University. Her coming out was publicly recognized by media such as NPR and got a lot of positive feedback.

In August 2014, McBride married Andrew Cray, a transgender man. Like McBride, he was an active LGBTQ+ rights activist. His work was crucial in the Affordable Care Act and creating the Out2Enroll Initiative. Sadly, he passed away after their nuptials while fighting cancer.

McBride has a long career of working in politics, such as her work on Governor Jack Marshall’s 2008 campaign and Beau Biden’s 2010 campaign. She became an intern at the White House in 2012, where she specifically worked on LGBT issues in the White House Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs. Through her campaign, she was endorsed by many politicians such as Jack Markell (former governor of Delaware) and Nnamdi Chukwuocha (District 1 State Representative). She is also endorsed by groups like the UD College Democrats and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). 

There were many challenges McBride faced in the political world, namely harassment for being transgender. For example, after McBride’s panel in the Cannon House Office building in January 2019, McBride faced harassment from two anti-trans activists from the U.K. After the incident, Mcbride tweeted, “This happened to me earlier today. We had just concluded a really powerful meeting with parents of transgender youth and members of Congress and I won’t let this incident diminish the love, pride, and solidarity that filled the room just moments before.”

Sarah McBride is also noted for her activism. In 2013, McBride joined the Board of Directors of Equality Delaware, an organization that worked to ensure rights for LGBTQ+ living in Delaware. She became the leading advocate for non-discrimination legislation, which was passed in June 2013, and also worked on the LGBT Process team at the Center for American Progress.

McBride entering the State Senate as the first transgender woman marks a change in U.S politics. Hopefully, her election will lead to more new and diverse faces appearing in the political landscape of the United States. On Tuesday November 3rd, McBride tweets, “I hope tonight shows an LGBTQ kid that our democracy is big enough for them, too.”

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