Sarah McBride, the national press secretary for LGBT rights group Human Rights Campaign, made history by becoming the first openly transgender person to address a major convention when she supported Hillary Clinton during the 2016 Democratic National Convention.
McBride, 25, discussed her personal love story with a fellow transgender person and said the U.S. could be “a nation where everyone has the freedom to live openly and equally.”
McBride is on the steering committee for the Trans United for Hillary, a group mobilizing the trans community to vote for Clinton. She also took a selfie inside a North Carolina women’s bathroom — an illegal act under the state’s new bathroom law.
Here is what you need to know about McBride:
1. McBride Took a Selfie Inside a Women’s Bathroom in North Carolina to Protest the State’s New Law
Here I am using a women's restroom in North Carolina that I'm technically barred from being in. They say I'm a pervert. They say I'm a man dressed as a woman. They say I'm a threat to their children. They say I'm confused. They say I'm dangerous. And they say accepting me as the person I have fought my life to be seen as reflects the downfall of a once great nation. I'm just a person. We are all just people. Trying to pee in peace. Trying to live our lives as fully and authentically as possible. Barring me from this restroom doesn't help anyone. And allowing me to continue to use this bathroom – just without fear of discrimination and harassment – doesn't hurt anyone. Stop this. We are good people. #repealhb2
After North Carolina passed H.B. 2, a law requiring people to use the bathroom correlating with their birth sex, McBride decided she had to go to the bathroom while passing through the state. So she did what most advocates do — she took a selfie in the women’s bathroom, which is illegal under the state’s new law.
“I’m just a person,” she posted. “We are all just people. Trying to pee in peace. Trying to live our lives as fully and authentically as possible. Barring me from this restroom doesn’t help anyone. And allowing me to continue to use this bathroom – just without fear of discrimination and harassment – doesn’t hurt anyone.
Stop this. We are good people.”
2. McBride Is the First Openly Transgender Person to Address a Major Convention
No one has done what McBride has done: addressed a major party convention and done it as an openly transgender person.
“My name is Sarah McBride, and I am a transgender American,” she said. “Four years ago, I came out as transgender while serving as student body president in college. At the time, I was scared. I worried that my dreams and my identity were mutually exclusive.
“Since then, I have seen that change is possible. I witnessed history while interning in the White House and helping my home state of Delaware pass protections for transgender people…But despite our progress, so much work remains. Will we be a nation where there’s only one way to love, one way to look, one way to live? Or, will we be a nation where everyone has the freedom to live openly and equally; a nation that’s Stronger Together? That’s the question in this election,” she said.
McBride then endorsed Clinton, saying “LGBTQ people are targeted by hate that lives in both laws and hearts. Many still struggle just to get by. But I believe tomorrow can be different. Tomorrow, we can be respected and protected — especially if Hillary Clinton is our president. And that’s why I’m proud to say that I’m with her.”
3. She Is an Activist for LGBT Rights
McBride works for the Human Rights Campaign, but has previously worked with the Center for American Progress and interned at the White House. She has been an active voice for LGBT rights.
Her job at the HRC includes producing articles for the organization and informing the public about its work.
4. The GOP Platform Is ‘the Most Anti-LGBT Platform in History,’ She Said
Speaking with Yahoo‘s Katie Couric, McBride said the GOP convention “…endorsed the most anti-LGBT platform in their party’s history. And for the Republican Party, that’s pretty astounding.”
McBride also called GOP nominee Donald Trump “an enemy of LGBTQ rights” and criticized his running partner, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, for signing a religious liberty law protecting businesses from legal action if they denied someone service on the basis of their faith.
5. Twitter Exploded in Support of McBride’s Openness
Reactions on Twitter were both supportive and in opposition when McBride made the announcement.