August 9, 1990 |
Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.
|Alma mater||Cab Calloway School of the Arts, American University|
|Employer||Human Rights Campaign (current), Center for American Progress (former)|
|Known for||Transgender rights activist|
|Spouse(s)||Andrew Cray (m. 2014; d. 2014)|
Sarah McBride (born on August 9, 1990) is an American LGBT rights activist and political figure. She is currently the National Press Secretary of the Human Rights Campaign. McBride made national headlines when she came out as transgender to her college while serving as student body president at American University.
McBride is largely credited with the passage of legislation in Delaware banning discrimination on the basis of gender identity in employment, housing, insurance, and public accommodations. In July 2016, she was a speaker at the Democratic National Convention, becoming the first openly transgender person to address a major party convention in American history.
Early life and education
Sarah McBride was born in Wilmington, Delaware, the daughter of David and Sally McBride. Prior to coming out, McBride was a campaign staffer in Delaware, working on several campaigns including Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden's 2010 campaign and Governor Jack Markell's 2008 campaign. In 2011, McBride was elected student body president at American University. During her last week as student body president, McBride gained international attention when she came out as a transgender woman in her college's student newspaper, The Eagle. McBride's coming out was featured on NPR, The Huffington Post, and by Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation. After coming out, McBride got a call from Delaware Attorney General Biden, saying, "Sarah, I just wanted you to know, I'm so proud of you. I love you, and you're still a part of the Biden family." Vice President Joe Biden expressed similar sentiments, sharing that he was proud of her and happy for her. In 2012, McBride interned at The White House, becoming the first openly transgender woman to work there in any capacity. McBride worked in the White House Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs, where she worked on LGBT issues. In a speech in May 2015, Second Lady Jill Biden told Sarah's story. She added, "we believe young people should be valued for who they are, no matter what they look like, where they're from, the gender with which they identify, or who they love."
In January 2013, McBride joined the board of directors of Equality Delaware and quickly became the state's leading advocate for legal protections and hate crimes legislation for transgender Delawareans. McBride and her family led the lobbying effort for legislation protecting Delawareans from discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression in employment, housing, insurance, and public accommodations. In addition to serving as the primary spokesperson for the legislation, McBride's close relationship with Governor Jack Markell and Attorney General Beau Biden was credited with getting both elected officials vocally behind the bill. The legislation passed the state senate by a margin of one vote and the state house by a vote of 24-17. The amended bill was then re-passed by the state senate and immediately signed into law by Governor Jack Markell in June 2013.
Upon signing the legislation, Markell stated, "I especially want to thank my friend Sarah McBride, an intelligent and talented Delawarean who happens to be transgender. She courageously stood before the General Assembly to describe her personal struggles with gender identity and communicate her desire to return home after her college graduation without fear. Her tireless advocacy for passage of this legislation has made a real difference for all transgender people in Delaware."
Since the passage of Delaware's gender identity protections and hate crimes legislation, McBride to work on the LGBT Progress team at the Center for American Progress. McBride has spoken at a number of colleges and LGBT events, including the Human Rights Campaign National Dinner, the Human Rights Campaign Los Angeles Dinner, the Victory Fund National Brunch, the University of Pennsylvania, and Gettysburg College. McBride was ranked the Most Valuable Progressive in Delaware by DelawareLiberal.net listed in the 2014 list of the Trans 100, and named one of the fifty upcoming millennials poised to make a difference in the coming years by MIC.com. A 2015 article in the NewStatesman on transgender representation in elective office predicted McBride would be the first transgender American elected to high public office. McBride was a panelist at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's "GLOBE Pride 2016" on youth and workplace bullying. McBride has been featured in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, Al Jazeera, PBS NewsHour, Teen Vogue, North Carolina Public Radio, The New Yorker, MSNBC, ThinkProgress, Buzzfeed, and NPR.
In April 2016, McBride delivered a TED Talk titled, "Gender assigned to us at birth should not dictate who we are." She also served on the steering committee of Trans United for Hillary, an effort to educate and mobilize transgender people and their allies in support of Hillary Clinton.
On July 28, 2016, McBride became the first openly transgender person to speak at a national party convention when she spoke at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. In her speech, which lasted less than four minutes, McBride paid tribute to her late husband Andrew Cray and his commitment to LGBT rights.
In August 2014, McBride married her then-boyfriend Andrew Cray after he received a terminal cancer diagnosis. Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson presided at their ceremony. Four days after their nuptials, Cray died from cancer.
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