Sarah McBride Is Making History Again

Photo: David Buchan/Shutterstock

Delaware state senator and transgender activist Sarah McBride is running for U.S. Congress. If elected, she would become the first openly transgender member to serve in the House of Representatives. “My commitment is to people in Delaware who aren’t seen, who don’t shout the loudest or fund political campaigns,” McBride said in a video posted to Twitter on Monday announcing her candidacy. “Everyone deserves a member who sees them and respects them.”

During her tenure as state senator, McBride passed landmark legislation providing paid family and medical leave to working Delaware families. At 32, she’s established herself as a political trailblazer in state and national politics. She’s worked for former Delaware governor Jack Markell and the late Delaware attorney general Beau Biden and has served as the national press secretary for the Human Rights Campaign. McBride became the first openly trans person to work in the White House when she interned for the Obama administration in 2012 and made history at the 2016 DNC as the first transgender woman to address a national convention. She won her state-senate seat in 2020 with an overwhelming majority of the general-election vote, securing a second term last year. On top of all that, she published a memoir in 2018: Tomorrow Will Be Different, an intimate exploration of her first years in politics advocating for transgender equality. President Biden wrote the foreword.

Delaware’s congressional seat is currently held by Democrat Lisa Blunt Rochester, who this week announced her run for the state-senate seat being vacated by Thomas R. Carpenter. In an interview with the New York Times about her congressional campaign, McBride says she plans to focus on pieces of Biden’s Build Back Better act that were “left on the cutting-room floor,” tackling issues like climate change, paid family and medical leave, affordable child and elder care, gun safety, and reproductive rights. News of her candidacy arrives amid a wave of Republican-helmed anti-trans legislation, including a spate of bills attacking gender-affirming care for young people, books that tell LGBTQ+ stories, and proposed restrictions on the bathrooms trans people can use. In her interview with the Times, McBride calls these measures cruel. “We know that policies that target young people, that target parents, that target families, that target vulnerable people in our society,” she said. “They never wear well in history.”

Sarah McBride Is Making History Again