How the first openly transgender state senator in U.S. history is giving LGBTQ+ kids hope

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

How the first openly transgender state senator in U.S. history is giving LGBTQ+ kids hope
Sarah McBride/Instagram

Democratic activist Sarah McBride won her state senate race in Delaware this week, making her the first openly trans state senator in U.S. history.

McBride, a former spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign, will now represent Delaware's 1st district, after easily beating her Republican opponent, Steve Washington.

During an election watch party, McBride called the win an honor and said that she hopes the results speak to all Americans.

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

"It is my fervent hope that tonight a young person here in Delaware," she said, "or in North Carolina, or in Texas, or anywhere in this country, that they're able to go to sleep this night with a powerful but simple message: that our democracy is big enough for them, too. That their voices matter, and that change is always possible."

Her win also makes McBride the first openly LGBTQ person elected to Delaware's state's legislature.


McBride ran on a progressive platform, calling for affordable health care, universal pre-kindergarten, reforming the criminal justice system and increasing minimum wage.

She's no stranger to breaking political barriers. McBride was the first openly transgender White House staffer, having interned in the Obama White House. In 2016, she became the first trans speaker at a major party convention when she addressed the Democratic National Convention.

In her watch party speech, McBride said she was looking forward to getting to work – for all her constituents. It's time, she said, "to reimagine our community and our society not as it was, but as it should and could be. To make sure, as I have said from the start of this campaign, that we more fully live up to our values as a state of neighbors."

In such a hotly contested election season, McBride's victory shows that there is room and representation for everyone in our nation. We're looking forward to seeing how she serves the people of Delaware in her new, historic role.

Jamie Orsini is an Emmy Award-winning journalist, military spouse, and a mom to two busy toddlers. In her spare time, Jamie volunteers with the Solar System Ambassador program with NASA/JPL and reads anything she can get her hands on. She’s currently working on her first novel.

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