Sarah McBride, who once made history at the Democratic National Convention in 2016, achieved another milestone Tuesday night by winning an election in Delaware to become the highest-ranking openly transgender state legislator in the United States.
“I’m so thankful to the hundreds of volunteers who made calls, sent texts, and talked to voters to bring our neighbors together,” McBride said in a statement. “I’m humbled by the support of neighbors and ready to work every day to make a difference in the lives of all the residents of the First Senate District. I hope tonight shows an LGBTQ kid that our democracy is big enough for them, too.”
McBride, who was running for a seat in the Delaware State Senate was expected to win the heavily “blue” First Senate District, which includes parts of Wilmington. The LGBTQ Victory Fund, which seeks to elect LGBTQ people to political office, declared the race for McBride shortly after polls closed at 8 pm.
Previously, McBride worked as national press secretary for the Human Rights Campaign. When she addressed the Democratic National Convention in 2016, she became the first openly transgender person to speak at the major party convention in the United States.
Annise Parker, CEO of the LGBTQ Victory Fund, said in a statement McBride’s win “is a powerful testament to the growing influence of transgender leaders in our politics and gives hope to countless trans people looking toward a brighter future.”
“Throughout this election cycle, Donald Trump and other cynical politicians attempted to use trans people as a political weapon, believing they could gain popularity by stoking fear and hate,” Parker said. “For Sarah to shatter a lavender ceiling in such a polarizing year is a powerful reminder that voters are increasingly rejecting the politics of bigotry in favor of candidates who stand for fairness and equality.”
Currently, there are four openly transgender legislators: Virginia State Del. Danica Roem (D-Va.), the first out trans person to win and serve in a state legislature, as well as Colorado State Rep. Brianna Titone and New Hampshire State Reps. Lisa Bunker and Gerri Cannon.
In Pennsylvania, Rachel Levin is secretary of health and has the distinction of being the highest-ranking openly transgender person official writ large in the United States.
McBride was one of a handful of transgender candidates expected to make history Tuesday night by winning milestone elections.
- In Vermont, Taylor Small won election to a seat in the Vermont State House, making the first openly transgender person ever elected to the Vermont legislature.
- Meanwhile, Stephanie Byers was expected to become the first openly transgender state legislator in Kansas and the first out transgender person of color elected to a state legislature in the United States.
The Washington Blade will update this article will update this post with additional information on transgender candidates as it comes.
This article originally appeared in the Washington Blade and is made available in partnership with the National LGBT Media Association.