Sarah McBride Was The First Openly Transgender Person To Address A National Party Convention

While the Republican National Convention made history by nominating a cartoon, the Democratic National Convention nominated the first woman to represent a major party, witnessed the first person tell their personal abortion story on the convention stage, and had unprecedented representation of LGBTQ Americans. The first openly transgender person to address a national convention, Sarah McBride, gave a moving speech about knowing change is possible because she’s already seen so much progress made in terms of transgender visibility.

“Four years ago, I came out as transgender while serving as student body president in college,” she began. “At the time, I was scared. I worried that my dreams and my identity were mutually exclusive. Since then, though, I’ve seen that change is possible.” McBride was the first openly transgender person to work at the White House, interning in the Office of Public Engagement in 2012. The 25-year-old Delaware native now works as the national press secretary for the Human Rights Campaign and spends her free time addressing the nation in support of Hillary Clinton.

“Will we be a nation where there’s only one way to love, one way to look, one way to live?” she asked the crowd. “Or, will we be a nation where everyone has the freedom to live openly and equally; a nation that’s Stronger Together? That’s the question in this election.”

The transgender community has gained a lot more recognition in recent years, but still faces discriminatory laws, high murder rates, and conservatives who don’t think they deserve to be treated like humans beings. McBride called for voters to support Clinton for her commitment to combating LGBTQ issues and giving transgender Americans representation, evidenced by McBride’s speaking slot. “Hillary Clinton understands the urgency of our fight,” she said. “She will work with us to pass the Equality Act, to combat violence against transgender women of color, and to end the HIV and AIDS epidemic once and for all.”

McBride gained the nation’s attention just a few months ago when she posted a selfie in response to North Carolina’s discriminatory transgender bathroom law that went viral. The caption explained that she’s not a pervert, a threat, or a man dressed as a woman. “I’m just a person,” she wrote on Instagram. “We are all just people. Trying to pee in peace.”

Here I am using a women’s restroom in North Carolina that I’m technically barred from being in. They say I’m a pervert. They say I’m a man dressed as a woman. They say I’m a threat to their children. They say I’m confused. They say I’m dangerous. And they say accepting me as the person I have fought my life to be seen as reflects the downfall of a once great nation. I’m just a person. We are all just people. Trying to pee in peace. Trying to live our lives as fully and authentically as possible. Barring me from this restroom doesn’t help anyone. And allowing me to continue to use this bathroom – just without fear of discrimination and harassment – doesn’t hurt anyone. Stop this. We are good people. #repealhb2

A photo posted by Sarah McBride (@sarahemcbride) on

“I believe tomorrow can be different,” McBride said Thursday. “Tomorrow, we can be respected and protected — especially if Hillary Clinton is our president. And that’s why I’m proud to say that I’m with her.”