Metro Weekly

Sarah McBride becomes first openly transgender state senator

"I hope tonight shows an LGBTQ kid that our democracy is big enough for them, too," McBride said

sarah mcbride, delaware, history, trans, transgender

Sarah McBride — Photo: B Proud

Transgender activist and health care advocate Sarah McBride has made history as the first openly transgender person to be elected to a state Senate.

McBride, who serves as national press secretary for the Human Rights Campaign, won her race for Delaware’s 1st State Senate district on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

The Associated Press called the race for McBride, a Democrat, who bested her Republican opponent Steve Washington.

“We did it. We won the general election,” McBride tweeted after her race was called. “Thank you, thank you, thank you.

“I hope tonight shows an LGBTQ kid that our democracy is big enough for them, too,” she continued. “As Delaware continues to face the Covid crisis, it’s time to get to work to invest in the policies that will make a difference for working families.”

Annise Parker, president and CEO of the LGBTQ Victory Fund, celebrated McBride’s historic win, saying, “Sarah’s overwhelming victory is a powerful testament to the growing influence of transgender leaders in our politics and gives hope to countless trans people looking toward a brighter future.

“Throughout this election cycle, Donald Trump and other cynical politicians attempted to use trans people as a political weapon, believing they could gain popularity by stoking fear and hate,” Parked continued. “For Sarah to shatter a lavender ceiling in such a polarizing year is a powerful reminder that voters are increasingly rejecting the politics of bigotry in favor of candidates who stand for fairness and equality. Her victory will inspire more trans people to follow in her footsteps and run for public office.”

McBride, a 30-year-old former Metro Weekly Next Generation Award winner, has a long history of political activism, co-founding a statewide high school Democratic organization and volunteering for Democratic campaigns in her home state of Delaware.

She previously interned at the Obama White House in college, and advocated for passage of a transgender rights law, as well as expansion of Medicaid. Markell awarded her the Order of the First state, making her one of the youngest Delawareans to earn the state’s highest civilian honor.

In 2016, McBride made history when she spoke at the 2016 Democratic Convention on behalf of then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, becoming the first openly transgender person to address a major party convention. She published a book in 2018, Tomorrow Will Be Different, which examined her activism and her relationship with her late husband, Andrew Cray, who died at the age of 28 from cancer, mere days after the couple wed in 2014.

Read more:

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Pete Buttigieg urges LGBTQ people to vote: “Help is on the way”

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Rhuaridh Marr is Metro Weekly's online editor. He can be reached at rmarr@metroweekly.com.

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