This 25-Year-Old Just Made MAJOR History At The Democratic Convention

Photo: Jason Kempin/Getty Images.
Sarah McBride will be the first openly trans person to address a national political convention.
Update: “My name is Sarah McBride and I am a transgender American.”

That is how the 25-year-old activist and press secretary for the Human Rights Campaign opened her remarks at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday.

McBride, who made history as the first trans person to speak at a national political convention, championed the strides the country has made in LGTBQ rights, but also emphasized the work ahead — and what’s on the line this year.

“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?" she said. "That's the question in this election.”

She also shared the story of her late husband, a fellow trans rights activist who died of cancer just days after they married.

“Knowing Andy left me profoundly changed,” she said. “More than anything, his passing taught me that every day matters when it comes to building a world where every person can live their life to the fullest.”

McBride, an organizer of Trans United for Hillary, made the case that electing Clinton will help us get to that world.

“Today in America, LGBTQ people are targeted by hate that lives in both laws and hearts. Many still struggle just to get by,” she said. “But I believe tomorrow can be different. Tomorrow, we can be respected and protected — especially if Hillary Clinton is our president.”

The following story was originally published on July 25, 2016.


Hillary Clinton isn't the only woman breaking barriers at the Democratic National Convention this week.

Sarah McBride will become the first openly transgender person to speak at a national political convention when she takes the stage at Philadelphia's Wells Fargo Center later this week.

McBride, 25, is the national press secretary for the Human Rights Campaign and an organizer of Trans United for Hillary. She said in a statement that she is "honored for this opportunity to share my story and to be the first transgender person to speak at a major party convention."

“People must understand that even as we face daily harassment, tragic violence, and an onslaught of anti-LGBTQ political attacks across the country, we are real people merely seeking to be treated with the dignity and respect every person deserves," she said.

The Human Rights Campaign says this year's national delegate pool also sets records for LGBTQ participation. There are at least 27 trans delegates, according to the group.

The statement from HRC also praised the policy plank set to be adopted by the Democratic Party this week as "the most inclusive and progressive platform ever on LGBTQ equality."

Republicans last week adopted a platform that does not support marriage equality, disappointing some LGBTQ and allied delegates, as well as political strategists who want to see the party gain more support of young voters.

Refinery29’s News team is on the ground covering the Democratic National Convention. Follow along @R29News and check out our full coverage of the 2016 race here.
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