LGBTQ Victory Fund endorses trans candidate for Del. senate

Sarah McBride Photo: Twitter

The LGBTQ Victory Fund, a national organization dedicated to electing out leaders to public office, endorsed trans woman Sarah McBride on Wednesday in her 2020 bid for the Delaware state Senate.

If elected, McBride, a longtime LGBTQ rights activist, would be the first openly trans state senator in the United States. She would also be the first out person elected to the Delaware state legislature.

“Sarah continues to revolutionize what is possible for a trans person — whether inside the White House or from the largest stage in Democratic politics — and she will almost certainly be making history again as the nation’s first out trans state senator,” Annise Parker, president and CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund, said in a statement. 

A Wilmington native, McBride is running on a platform of reforming the criminal justice system, making health care affordable, expanding paid leave and supporting public schools. She has spent most of her life doing public advocacy work and has worked for former Delaware Governor Jack Markell, former Attorney General of Delaware Beau Biden and the Obama White House.

McBride came out in 2012 in American University’s student newspaper one day after finishing her term as student body president. The same year, McBride, a former Victory Fund intern, graduated from the LGBTQ Victory Institute’s Candidate & Campaign Training, a four-day program that teaches queer leaders how to run for office.

The next year she became the first openly trans intern at the White House when she served in the Obama administration. She also fought for gender identity nondiscrimination protections in Delaware in 2013, then made history as the first openly trans person to speak at the Democratic National Convention when it took place in Philadelphia in 2016. 

The Human Rights Campaign also endorsed McBride in the Delaware Senate race in August. 

“At a time when equality is under attack at the federal level, it has never been more important for states like Delaware to show the nation what is possible when we reject the politics of division and embrace the politics of progress,” Human Rights Campaign president Alphonso David said in a release at the time. “We’re proud to endorse Sarah’s historic candidacy, and cannot wait to call her Senator McBride.”

Via Twitter on Wednesday afternoon, McBride chalked the LGBTQ Victory Fund endorsement up to three qualities: “I’m a proven advocate for equal rights,” “I’m deeply invested in my community and have the ideas to push us forward,” and “I’m here to win.”

Four out trans people serve in state legislatures across the country: Danica Roem of the Virginia House of Delegates, Brianna Titone of the Colorado House of Representatives, and Gerri Cannon and Lisa Bunker of the New Hampshire House of Representatives.

The Victory Fund has endorsed 75 out candidates in 2020 races so far. 

“Former Governor Jack Markell, state legislators and countless advocates describe Sarah as the lynchpin in lobbying efforts to secure statewide gender identity nondiscrimination protections six years ago,” Parker said. “That was with Sarah working from the outside. The impact of her presence and voice in the state legislature will be transformative, changing hearts and minds and leading to more inclusive legislation.”