Trailblazing Democrat set to smash the lavender ceiling and make history as the first-ever trans state senator in the US

Sarah McBride

Trans Democrat Sarah McBride is set to make history as the first out transgender state senator ever elected in the United States, after winning the state legislative primary in Delaware.

McBride, a trailblazing trans activist, national press secretary for Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and author of the book Tomorrow Will Be Different: Love, Loss, and the Fight for Trans Equality, already became the first trans person to speak at a major party convention when in 2016 she addressed the Democrat National Convention.

But now she is set to make history again.

Only four openly trans people have ever been elected to state legislature in the US, but McBride is set to become the first openly trans person to be elected state senator in the nation’s history.

McBride triumphed spectacularly over her opponent Joseph McCole in Tuesday’s primary (15 September), with 91 per cent of the votes.

Steve Washington was unopposed for the Republican nomination and McBride will face him in November’s election, but as the state and district are strongly Democratic it is almost certain that she will win.

As the results came in, McBride wrote on Twitter: “Tonight sends a powerful signal that candidates like me can win.

“Everyone deserves to see themselves in government, to follow their dreams, and to be accepted by their community.

“I will never take for granted the honuor of carrying that mantle.”


Mayor Annise Parker, president and CEO of the LGBTQ Victory Fund, which backed McBride’s campaign, said in a statement: “Sarah’s primary win shatters another lavender ceiling in our movement to build LGBT+ political power and her victory will inspire more transgender people to run for elected office.

“At a time when the Trump administration, cynical politicians and too many state legislatures are attempting to use trans people as political weapons, Sarah’s win is a powerful reminder that voters are increasingly rejecting the politics of bigotry in favour of candidates who stand for equality.

“Three years ago there were zero out trans state legislators anywhere in the country, but each win reinvigorates a virtuous cycle that familiarises voters with trans people and encourages more trans people to run.

“We are optimistic we can double the number of trans state legislators in 2020 – from four to at least eight – and their impact will be felt well-beyond the boundaries of their districts.”

HRC president Alphonso David celebrated her win, saying: “Sarah McBride is one of the most impressive people I have had the privilege to meet.

“From her brilliant policy expertise to her ability to inspire and empathise, Sarah is the epitome of what can make an elected official great… Sarah is no stranger to making history.

“As the first transgender speaker at a national party convention, Sarah spoke for a community long ignored and pushed to the sidelines… Next year, as the first transgender state senator in our nation, Sarah will show that any child can achieve their dream, no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation.

“While we will be sad to lose her as a staff member at the Human Rights Campaign, we are overjoyed to have been a piece of her story. Congratulations Sarah.”