A Transgender Woman Just Made History at the Democratic National Convention

“Hillary Clinton understands the urgency of our fight.”


On the final day of the Democratic National Convention, Sarah McBride used her position as the first transgender person to speak at a major-party convention to argue that despite advances in LGBT rights, the fight for equality must continue.

“Will we be a nation where there is only one way to love, only one way to look, and only one way to live?” McBride asked the audience, which included the largest transgender delegation in convention history.

The 25 year-old Delaware native, who is the national press secretary for the Human Rights Campaign, made headlines in April after she posted a photo of herself from inside a women’s bathroom in a government building in Charlotte, North Carolina, defying a controversial state law that mandates people use the bathrooms that match the biological sex they were assigned at birth.

During her convention remarks, McBride made a passionate plea for the rights of the transgender community, stressing the need for trans people to be seen as humans instead of as unfeeling symbols of the culture wars. “I worried that my dreams and identity were mutually exclusive,” she said, referring to her life prior to coming out as transgender. “Since then I’ve seen that change is possible.”

In a speech introducing McBride, New York congressman Sean Patrick Maloney, one of the six openly gay co-chairs of the congressional LGBT caucus, spoke about the importance of marriage equality to his family and argued that Clinton was the only candidate who would ensure LGBT rights were protected.

“I realized our family, our love, was no longer less than,” he said of last year’s Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage. “It’s a beautiful thing when your country catches up to you.”

LGBT rights have been a prominent topic during this week’s Democratic National Convention, with the Democrats openly supporting the passage of the most LGBT-inclusive platform in party history and setting up all-gender restrooms inside Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center. The GOP platform adopted at last week’s Republican National Convention calls for a constitutional amendment overturning marriage equality, endorses the discredited conversion therapy, and supports states’ abilities to pass restrictive bathroom laws similar to North Carolina’s.

That contrast was not lost on McBride. “Hillary Clinton understands the urgency of our fight,” she said.

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. It's our first time asking for an outpouring of support since screams of FAKE NEWS and so much of what Trump stood for made everything we do so visceral. Like most newsrooms, we face incredibly hard budget realities, and it's unnerving needing to raise big money when traffic is down.

So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

payment methods

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate