Sarah McBride could develop into the primary transgender member of Congress – The Mercury News

PHILADELPHIA – Delaware state Sen. Sarah McBride, who could develop into the primary openly transgender member of Congress, believes that as a powerful politician in Washington, she may help earn respect for transgender people.

McBride, 33, is already the highest-ranking openly transgender politician within the country. She said diversity in Congress has each symbolic and substantive implications, but she shouldn’t be running on her identity. Instead, she hopes to construct acceptance through her successful work as a lawmaker through what she calls the “power of proximity.”

“Once you respect someone as a really, really hard-working legislator, it's hard not to see him as a person; it's hard not to see other people like him as human beings,” she said in an interview.

McBride shall be on the ballot in November to interchange U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, D., Del., who was first elected in 2016 and is running for Senate this 12 months. McBride's only remaining serious rival, Eugene Young, recently dropped out of the Sept. 10 primary after Delaware Treasurer Colleen Davis also dropped out of the race earlier this 12 months. McBride, who has raised not less than $1.8 million for her campaign, has since secured the support of leading Democrats within the House. Her Republican opponent, Donyale Hall, had raised just $13,584 as of March 31.

The district is taken into account politically clear and has elected Democrats to the House of Representatives for over a decade.

McBride's campaign comes at a moment of political division on the problem of transgender rights. During his rally in Philadelphia on Saturday, former President Donald Trump vowed that if elected, on his first day in office, he would sign an executive order “cutting federal funding for any school that promotes critical race theory or 'transgender madness,' and banning transgender women from participating in women's sports.” His supporters went wild.

“How embarrassing is it to say we're going to ban men from women's sports?” Trump said. “Who would want men to play women's sports?”

McBride said “the MAGA movement's obsession with transgender people” is a component of a “manufactured culture war” that riles up Trump's supporters but doesn’t reflect the electorate at large. She sees it as a strategic distraction from problems for which the previous president has no solutions, she said.

The attacks may only be happening because there may be a “knowledge gap” about LGBTQ people, she said.

“When people start to understand the humanity of the people affected by a particular policy debate, they run out of time to target the politicians who are against equality and look for scapegoats,” McBride said. “We've seen that with gay people and marriage equality … and I think the same will be true for transgender people. But that only comes when there is full representation.”

Despite the vicious rhetoric found amongst conservative politicians surrounding transgender rights, McBride believes that over time she will “gain unlikely allies” in Washington.

McBride has worked across party lines and with politicians whose views on LGBTQ rights concern her, finding common ground on more issues than she expected, including access to health care, disinformation, paid family leave and gun safety laws, she said.

While the trust and familiarity that comes from working together may not make conservatives strong allies immediately, over time it might help open their “hearts and minds,” McBride said.

Although she is on target to win in November, candidates still have until July 9 to register for the September primary, and McBride said she’s going to not decelerate her campaign.

“I haven't won anything yet,” she said. “I have to continue to work to gain the support of Delawans across the state to have the privilege of representing them, and I take that responsibility very seriously.”


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