DNC 2016: Sarah McBride makes history as first transgender woman to address a major party convention

The 25-year-old spoke about the discrimination facing the LGBTQ community

Andrew Buncombe
Thursday 28 July 2016 23:02 BST
Sarah McBride has entered the footnotes of history
Sarah McBride has entered the footnotes of history (AP)

The city of Philadelphia has a reputation as a place where history is made.

On Thursday, Sarah McBride also enters the footnotes of history when she took to the stage at the Democraic National Convention and became the first first openly transgender speaker at any major political party’s convention.

“I am a proud transgender American,” she said. “Today in America, LGBTQ people are targeted by hate that lives in both laws and heart. I believe tomorrow can be different."

She added: “Hillary Clinton understands the urgency of our fight. She will work with us to pass the Equality Act.”

The day before Ms McBride, a press secretary for the Human Rights Campaign, told CBS News: ”We're in an incredible place right now. A place that I think really underscores the progress in this country overall on trans rights. And I couldn't be prouder to be a part of this convention.”

The transgender activist, standing outside the arena where President Obama would later deliver an optimistic message about American progress, talked excitedly about the convention's message of “inclusion and equality.”

One of the most underreported stories of American society is the violence and discrimination faced by transgender women. Dozens have been murdered and yet the authorities are frequently unwilling to label the deaths hate crimes.

On Thursday, she spoke of a love story that had turned to tragedy.

”I met Andy, who was a transgender man, fighting for equality and we fell in love,” she said.

What's the one word that goes through your mind when you hear President Obama speaking?

”We married in 2014 and just five days after our wedding, he passed away.”

She added: “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.”

“Hillary Clinton understands the urgency of our fight,” she said. ”She will work with us to combat violence against transgender women of color and to end the HIV and AIDS epidemic.“

Reports suggested that as recently as 2004, no one in the Democratic party uttered the “T” word — that was the first year Barbra Casbar Siperstein attended a national convention as a delegate.

Casbar Siperstein, a transgender superdelegate, put it this way: “The 'T' was silent in LGBT.”

She finished her speech by saying: "Today in America, 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."

She added: "Especially if Hillary Clinton is our president. And that’s why I’m proud to say that I’m with her."

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