Sarah McBride Is the First Openly Transgender Senator in U.S. History

Morgan Noll
·2-min read

Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic, Getty Images

Sarah McBride won the Delaware State Senate race last night, making her the first openly transgender state senator in U.S. history. McBride first made national headlines in 2012 when she stepped down as American University's student body president and came out as trans in the school's student newspaper—and now she's graciously accepting her role as the country's highest-ranking openly trans official.

"We did it. We won the general election," she wrote on Twitter last night. "Thank you, thank you, thank you." McBride—whose policies include making healthcare more affordable, instituting universal paid family and medical leave, supporting universal pre-K, and reforming the criminal justice program—wants others to see her as proof of what's possible.

"I hope tonight shows an LGBTQ kid that our democracy is big enough for them, too," she wrote.

She continued in the Twitter thread, noting that there's a lot of hard work ahead, "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."

According to the LGBTQ Victory Fund, McBride is one of just four openly trans people currently serving in various state legislatures. She's among Colorado State Representative Brianna Titone, New Hampshire State Representatives Lisa Bunker and Gerri Cannon, and Virginia State Delegate Danica Roem, who became the first openly trans person to ever win and be seated in a state legislature in 2018.

McBride's historic senate win is just one of many firsts she's claimed over the years. Below, watch her speak at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, in which she became the first openly trans speaker at a major political convention. "My name is Sarah McBride, and I am a proud transgender American," she starts.

While we anxiously await more election results, focusing on wins like McBride's, and the re-election of the "squad" (Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts), is giving us much needed hope.