Former SG President announces bid for Delaware state senate

Sarah McBride would be America’s first openly transgender state senator

Former SG President announces bid for Delaware state senate

Author, activist and National Press Secretary of the Human Rights Campaign Sarah McBride (SPA/BA ’13) speaks to students on Sept. 27 2018.

Sarah McBride, former Student Government president and current national press secretary for the Human Rights Campaign, announced her bid for the Delaware state senate in early July. 

“I’m running for state senate because I want us to more fully live up to our values as a state of neighbors for every single one of us,” McBride said in an interview with The Eagle. 

McBride attributes her talent in activism and drive for creating change to her time as a student at AU.

“It was those skills from my time at American University that I took with me fighting for LGBTQ rights in Delaware and now with the Human Rights Campaign,” she said. “It’s these lessons and skills that I learned at American University that I’ll take with me to the state senate should I be fortunate enough to win.”

As student body president, McBride worked to progress LGBTQ rights on campus. She worked within student government to establish gender-neutral housing for first-year students and helped create an sexuality and queer studies minor. 

McBride first came out as transgender in an op-ed published by The Eagle at the end of her terms as SG President. This gained her national spotlight, which propelled her career as an activist for LGBTQ rights. She also made history in 2016 by becoming the first openly transgender person to address a major political party’s convention. 

McBride’s campaign is focused on the “kitchen table issues.” These include providing affordable healthcare, reforming the criminal justice system and creating stable jobs for every Delawarean. 

If she wins the 2020 race, she’ll be the state’s first elected transgender senator. However, her gender is not a focus of her campaign. 

“I’m not running to make history, I’m running to make a difference in my community,” she said. “At the same time, I do believe that democracy is at its best when it includes the voices of all of us.”

For many involved in Delaware’s state politics, McBride is a familiar face. While a student at AU, she advocated for the Gender Identity Non Discrimination Act, which was eventually passed in 2013.

“This is the moment that we all need to lean in to defeating the politics and division and bringing a renewed sense of hope, optimism, and belief in the possibilities of progress for our politics,” said McBride. “This is a critical moment and I couldn’t let it pass by without putting my hat in the ring.” 

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