Trailblazing State Sen. Sarah McBride on Why Being the “First” Isn’t Enough

Logo's "Rainbow Wave" series highlights newly elected LGBTQ politicians across the country.

For Delaware state Sen. Sarah McBride, being the first trans person to accomplish something is pointless if she is also the last.

The veteran LGBTQ activist and proud transgender woman made history last November when she was elected to Delaware’s state senate, making her the highest ranking openly trans elected official in the United States. After being sworn in to her historic post, McBride sat down with Logo for the inaugural episode of Rainbow Wave, our new digital video series profiling LGBTQ elected officials making waves across the country.

In her episode from Wednesday (March 31), McBride underscores the importance of seeing other openly trans people succeed in politics. Those wins assured her that she could have a future in the public eye as a trans person. “Diversity in government isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity,” she tells Logo. “We cannot craft effective solutions for diverse communities if we don’t have the diversity of those communities represented at the table.”

The Delaware native also gets candid about coming out and losing her husband, Andy, to cancer. “We were lucky to have health care,” she shares. “While Andy’s cancer was eventually terminal, our privilege allowed us to have precious time together. Whether someone’s struggling with COVID-19 or cancer… the same principle applies. No one should have to give up their income in the face of illness.”

Above all, McBride hopes that her victory “sends a small but important message” to other LGBTQ people considering a run for office. “Our democracy is big enough for you too,” she adds, “and your voice matters.”

Watch her full episode below, and follow Logo’s Instagram and YouTube for future episodes of Rainbow Wave.

Brooklyn-based writer and editor. Probably drinking iced coffee or getting tattooed.