Delaware Senator Sarah McBride talks advocacy and the LGBTQ+ community at KPU event

Kennedy Political Union hosted McBride on a Zoom webinar in partnership with AU PRIDE and Visible

Delaware Senator Sarah McBride talks advocacy and the LGBTQ+ community at KPU event
Delaware State Senator Sarah McBride speaks at a KPU event on March 22.

Delaware State Senator and AU alumna Sarah McBride (D-Del.) spoke to the AU community on Monday about how she combines her passion for LGBTQ+ rights with policy and advocacy.

The Kennedy Political Union Zoom event, moderated by School of Public Affairs Dean Vicky Wilkins, was hosted in partnership with AU PRIDE and Visible. 

McBride, a former Student Government president who graduated from SPA in 2013, made history in 2020 when she was elected as the first openly transgender state senator in the U.S. Since then, she has fought for affordable healthcare, paid maternity leave and criminal justice reform.

“My overarching goal is to build a Delaware where every person can get the care and support that they need without sacrificing their financial security,” McBride said in an interview with student media before the event. “That means bringing down the cost of health care, it means expanding access to comprehensive, inclusive, providers and care.”

Part of McBride’s passion for affordable healthcare stems from its importance to the LGBTQ+ people, who have historically been, and still are, discriminated against and often denied access to proper health care. She said that she aims to give people the opportunity to have full medical coverage as well as transition care.

McBride also spoke about the impact that her politics and campaign have had on the trans community in the U.S. Days leading up to her election, she said, she “was getting a lot of texts and emails and messages from trans youth across the country.”

McBride said, as a transgender person, she grew up seeing little-to-no representation of herself in politics, and becoming a political figure seemed “impossible.” Still, she is the highest-ranking openly transgender official in the U.S.

“I’ve written a lot about how, growing up, my dreams and my identity seem mutually exclusive,” she said, referring to her 2018 book, “Tomorrow Will Be Different.” 

Through her experience as AUSG president, McBride began to see the possibility of running for office as an out, transgender woman. The day after her term ended, she came out as transgender in an op-ed she wrote for The Eagle.

“I started to see the change that we’ve seen as a country over the last 10 years on these issues that I began to see that it was possible for someone like me to not just participate in our democracy, but have a seat at the table,” McBride said at the event.

smattalian@theeagleonline.com

Never miss a story

Get our weekly newsletter delivered right to your inbox.

More from The Eagle