ICYMI: Watch Delaware State Senator; Transgender Activist Sarah McBride Defend Trans Youth Against Anti-Trans Sports Ban in Committee She Chairs

by Henry Berg-Brousseau

WATCH SENATOR McBRIDE’S REMARKS HERE and read excerpts below

Wilmington– Senator Sarah McBride, the first openly transgender state senator in American history and the highest-ranking transgender public official, delivered moving remarks against DE SB227, a bill which would prohibit transgender students from participating in school athletics when it came in front of the committee which she chairs. Senate Bill 227, which constitutes nothing less than a vicious and unnecessary attack by her colleagues on the rights of Delaware’s transgender students and their ability to participate in school sports consistent with their gender identity, would undermine years of progress that have been made towards LGBTQ+ equality in Delaware and deny transgender youth the social, physical and emotional benefits of sports.


Sarah McBride, Delaware State Senator:

I didn’t run to talk for this office to talk about trans identities, I ran because I want to pass paid leave and expand access to health care. But this legislation goes after kids and that’s a step too far.
“I want to say, as a senator, as the chair of this committee, and as a trans person, to the trans kids and their families watching this hearing - your government sees you and, for the first time ever, really understands you. You are loved and you are worthy… Trans people are here to stay.”
Let’s be clear, this legislation is part of a national strategy to ban trans kids from affirming health care, ban certain books, forbid discussion, and to rip trans kids away from supportive parents – policies that try to delay and delay and delay trans kids from living authentically…[and work] to strip away any layer of support that a trans kid may have– parents, doctors, therapists, teachers – and in this case – coaches and teammates leaving trans kids isolated. The outcome of this strategy is to make life so difficult for trans kids, to make them feel so alone, that some never grow up to be adults.
“This preoccupation with trans kids’ bodies reduces trans people to abstract concepts. It makes it easy to forget that we’re talking about people…[that we’re] talking about young people. Being a trans kid in a world that too often rejects who you are is already hard enough … now imagine fearing your entire childhood that if people only knew who you are, you could lose your family, your friends, your safety, your community, [then] finally having the courage to address that unwavering homesickness in your soul only to then face bullying and harassment and mockery. And then imagine that a senator has introduced a bill that says you can’t even play with your friends.”

Senator Sarah McBride represents the First Senate District, where she was raised, becoming the first openly transgender state senator in American history. As a state senator, McBride has committed herself to fighting for health care for all, strong public schools for every child, good-paying jobs with real benefits for Delaware’s families, and safe communities where each resident is treated with dignity.

Senator McBride has been involved in advocacy for most of her life, first making national headlines in 2012 when she came out as transgender while serving as student body president at American University. Months later, McBride began an internship at the White House becoming the first openly transgender woman to work there in any role and while she was still in college McBride led a successful effort to pass a landmark non-discrimination law which was signed in 2013. For her work and advocacy, former Gov. Markell awarded her the Order of the First State, making her one of the youngest Delawareans granted the state’s highest civilian honor. McBride then joined the Human Rights Campaign family as national press secretary. During her time as press secretary, she became the first openly transgender person to address a national party convention when she spoke at the 2016 DNC convention.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ+ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

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