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Sarah McBride

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Sarah McBride
A portrait of Sarah McBride taken in 2016. She is wearing a fuschia-colored sweater.
Sarah McBride (2016)
Born (1990-08-09) August 9, 1990 (age 29)
Alma materCab Calloway School of the Arts, American University
Years active2012–present
EmployerHuman Rights Campaign (current), Center for American Progress (former)
Known forLGBTQ rights activist
Political partyDemocratic
m. 2014; his death 2014)
WebsiteOfficial website

Sarah McBride (born August 9, 1990) is an American LGBTQ rights activist and candidate for the Delaware State Senate. She is currently the National Press Secretary of the Human Rights Campaign.[1][2]

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.[3] 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.[4][5][6][7]

In 2018, McBride released the book Tomorrow Will Be Different: Love, Loss, and the Fight for Trans Equality.


Early life and education[edit]

Sarah McBride was born in Wilmington, Delaware to David and Sally McBride.[8] 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.[9]

McBride's coming out was featured on NPR, The Huffington Post, and by Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation.[10][11][12] 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.[13][14] 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."[15]


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.[16][17] 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.[18]

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."[19]

After the passage of Delaware's gender identity protections and hate crimes legislation, McBride worked on the LGBT Progress team at the Center for American Progress.[20] McBride has spoken at a number of colleges and LGBT events, including the Human Rights Campaign National Dinner,[14] the Human Rights Campaign Los Angeles Dinner,[21] the Victory Fund National Brunch,[22] the University of Pennsylvania,[23] and Gettysburg College.[24] McBride was ranked the Most Valuable Progressive in Delaware by[25] listed in the 2014 list of the Trans 100,[26] and named one of the fifty upcoming millennials poised to make a difference in the coming years by[27] 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.[28] 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."[29] 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.[30]

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.[31]

McBride serves as the National Press Secretary of the Human Rights Campaign.


On July 9, 2019, McBride formally announced her candidacy for the Delaware Senate.[32] When she announced, Sarah stated that her focus will be health care and paid family and medical leave.[33] If successful, she would be the first transgender state senator in U.S. history. She would replace Democrat Harris McDowell III, who plans to retire at the end of his term.[32]

Personal life[edit]

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.[34]


  1. ^ "Staff". Human Rights Campaign. Retrieved July 27, 2016.
  2. ^ "Sarah McBride". Human Rights Campaign. Retrieved July 27, 2016.
  3. ^ Karlan, Sarah (June 20, 2013). "Delaware Passes Trans Protections, With Help From A Young Advocate". BuzzFeed. Retrieved April 7, 2014.
  4. ^ "HRC's Sarah McBride, Chad Griffin to Speak at DNC". Human Rights Campaign. Retrieved July 27, 2016.
  5. ^ "At This Week's DNC Sarah McBride Will Become First Openly-Transgender Speaker to Address Major Party". The New Civil Rights Movement. July 24, 2016. Retrieved July 27, 2016.
  6. ^ "Dems add first transgender speaker to convention lineup". The Hill. July 14, 2016. Retrieved July 27, 2016.
  7. ^ "HRC's Sarah McBride to become first openly trans person to speak at a major party convention". Gay Times. Retrieved July 27, 2016.
  8. ^ Blakely, Rhys (March 17, 2018). "Sarah McBride: is she the transgender woman to change American politics?". The Times. London, UK. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
  9. ^ McBride, Sarah (May 1, 2012). "Op-Ed: The Real Me". The Eagle. Retrieved April 7, 2014.
  10. ^ Landau, Lauren (June 8, 2012). "From Tim To Sarah: AU Student Body President Unveils Big News". WAMU 88.5. Retrieved April 7, 2014.
  11. ^ McBride, Sarah (May 9, 2012). "The Real Me". The Huffington Post. Retrieved April 7, 2014.
  12. ^ "Coming Out Ok". Born This Way Foundation. Retrieved April 7, 2014.
  13. ^ "Transgender White House intern reflects on Obama's historic LGBT legacy". The Washington Post. December 1, 2015. Retrieved July 27, 2016.
  14. ^ a b Landau, Lauren (December 20, 2013). "One Woman's Life After Coming Out As Transgender". WAMU 88.5. Retrieved April 7, 2014.
  15. ^ "Jill Biden on LGBT Rights at Human Rights Campaign Dinner". U.S. Embassy. Retrieved July 27, 2016.
  16. ^ "The McBride Family Talks About Gender Identity Protections". YouTube. February 11, 2013. Retrieved July 27, 2016.
  17. ^ Lavers, Michael (June 25, 2013). "AU graduate credited with securing passage of Del. transgender rights bill". The Washington Blade. Retrieved April 7, 2014.
  18. ^ Rini, Jen (June 19, 2013). "Delaware Senate OKs transgender bill; Markell signs into law". Delaware State News. Retrieved April 7, 2014.
  19. ^ "Governor Signs Gender Identity Nondiscrimination Act". State of Delaware News. June 19, 2013. Retrieved April 7, 2014.
  20. ^ "Sarah McBride". Center for American Progress. Retrieved April 7, 2014.
  21. ^ "Sarah McBride in Human Rights Campaign Los Angeles Gala 2015". Zimbio. Retrieved November 17, 2015.
  22. ^ "Victory Fund National Campaign Brunch, Washington, D.C." VICTORY Magazine. 1 (2): 44. Archived from the original on April 7, 2014.
  23. ^ "Statewide LGBT Youth Conference on Transgender Justice to be Held at the University of Pennsylvania February 14-16, 2014". Erie Gay News. February 6, 2014. Retrieved April 7, 2014.
  24. ^ "Sarah McBride: Being Trans* and a Leader". WHP CBS 21 News. March 4, 2014. Archived from the original on April 7, 2014. Retrieved April 7, 2014.
  25. ^ "Honoring the 2013 MVP's (Most Valuable to the Progressive Cause)". Delaware Liberal. December 31, 2013. Retrieved April 7, 2014.
  26. ^ Simon, Carolyn (March 31, 2014). "Trans 100 List Honors Transgender Visibility". Human Rights Campaign. Retrieved April 7, 2014.
  27. ^ "Meet the Mic 50: Sarah McBride". Mic. Retrieved November 17, 2015.
  28. ^ "The invisibility of transgender people in electoral politics around the world". The New Statesman. Retrieved November 17, 2015.
  29. ^ McBride, Sarah (April 2016). "Gender assigned to us at birth should not dictate who we are". YouTube.
  30. ^ "Green Gard in USA: what is it? What kind of Benefits of Green Card yo can get?". Retrieved July 8, 2019.
  31. ^ "Who is Sarah McBride? A transgender activist who broke barriers at the White House". Washington Post. Retrieved March 25, 2017.
  32. ^ a b Avery, Daniel (July 9, 2019). "Who Is Sarah McBride? Transgender Activist Announces Run for Delaware Senate." Newsweek. Retrieved July 9, 2019.
  33. ^ Mueller, Sarah (July 9, 2019). "Activist Sarah McBride launches bid for Delaware State Senate seat". Delaware Public Media. Retrieved August 4, 2020.
  34. ^ "Forever And Ever: Losing My Husband At 24". The Huffington Post. Retrieved November 17, 2015.

Further reading[edit]

  • Reynolds, Andrew (October 15, 2018). The children of Harvey Milk : how LGBTQ politicians changed the world. Oxford University Press. pp. 149–167. ISBN 9780190460952.

External links[edit]