WINCHESTER - Sarah McBride, a 29-year-old progressive transgender activist and successful author, gave a compelling and eye-opening talk on Monday, Sept. 30 at Winchester High School. McBride attended WHS to promote her memoir which was released in March of 2018 titled Tomorrow Will Be Different: Love, Loss, and the Fight for Trans Equality. McBride spoke promptly at 7 p.m. and there were about 150 people in attendance, and many of the them had already read her book as they carried it with them. They were also able to get the book signed after McBride spoke.

McBride spoke about coming out as transgender in 2011 in the student newspaper at American University at age 21 while she was the student body president. She is proudly from Wilmington, Delaware and is a huge history buff. She mentioned that before this moment she would just pray that she could wake up and be herself. She had big dreams and wanted to make her parents proud.

One of the reasons she loved history so much was because she marveled at social change, but she was aware that people like her never made it very far in those history books and she wanted to change that. Before she came out as transgender she felt “a constant feeling of homesickness,” one that would only go away when she was able to be herself.

As student body president in college, she took on a lot just to fill the void and kill the pain that she couldn’t shake, but it didn’t help. While she was in church mid-way through the term she realized she could not go another day missing the beauty in the world as being someone she wasn’t so on Christmas of 2011 she came out to her parents as transgender.

She knew her parents were progressive as her older brother is gay, but it was still tough. They cried, begged her not to do it, and told her they felt like she was dying. When they received the news, they did not really have any reference points as to what transgender even really was.

Her dad began googling the word "transgender" and was baffled by the scary statistics he saw online. For example, one statistic read that 1 out of 4 transgender individuals got fired from their job. Another was that 41 percent reported attempted suicide at one point in their lives, and her dad was saddened by these statistics.

McBride expressed that because society puts so many barriers in their way, nearly half of transgender people decide that they would rather end their lives than exist in this world. She further specified that when a transgender person is embraced by their family that 41 percent drops in half and drops even further when they are embraced by their community. At the end of the day, McBride’s parents knew their job was to love, support and accept their daughter as she was and they did just that.

When McBride posted an op-ed in the student newspaper coming out as transgender every message in response from her peers was one of love, support, and celebration. She further explained that while her peers may not have been familiar with anyone that was transgender they knew that love, support and celebration was the necessary response. McBride declared that it should not be a privilege to keep your family, your job and yourself safe from violence as a transgender individual.

She does a lot of work with LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, and queer or questioning) as she fights for equality. She loves her home state of Delaware and one of her main concerns was to make it safe and secure. She noted that under legal law Delaware could deny her housing, fire her from her job, or refuse her services, simply because of her gender. She wanted things to change.

So, her and other members of the LGBTQ went down to the legislature to tell their stories and in 2013 Delaware became the first and only state to pass marriage equality and the transgender rights bill. The transgender rights bill would protect transgender individuals from discrimination.

She met her late husband Andrew Cray, who was also transgender fighting for equality. A year into their relationship, Cray was diagnosed with cancer. In August of 2014, they married on a rooftop above their apartment and just four days later he passed away. Cray profoundly changed McBride's life to say the least. He taught her how to love and be loved and he also taught her that change cannot come fast enough.

McBride was angry at society after Cray passed away because she felt as though far too many people stand in the way of someone’s wholeness and ability to freely be themselves. She expressed that society’s prejudices kept Cray inside of himself for the majority of his life and by the time he became his true self his life was cut drastically short due to his illness. She added that no individual knows how much time they have left in this world and time is something that should not be wasted.

McBride does not want to have a slow conversation about transgender equality as individuals watch their lives pass them by. She further commented that they should be able to live openly and equally in this world. They should not have to face bullying and discrimination during the school day.

With regard to the bathroom bill discussion she feels that as though simply going into the bathroom when out in public should not have to be a daunting task for transgender individuals and if the transgender community cannot simply go to the bathroom while they are out in public, then it makes it increasingly difficult for them to even leave the house.

She says although it may sound silly she feels as though the transgender community will be pushed out of public life and back into the shadows which is not fair. She stated that despite all of this discussion “time and time again we end up growing stronger” and that “change is always possible.” She says that the LGBTQ community are constantly fighting for a better tomorrow and it will be possible because of all of their hard work.

McBride is also running for the Delaware Senate in 2020 which she announced in July and if she wins she will be the state’s first transgender senator.

By Michelle Visco

WINCHESTER - Sarah McBride, a 29-year-old progressive transgender activist and successful author, gave a compelling and eye-opening talk on Monday, Sept. 30 at Winchester High School. McBride attended WHS to promote her memoir which was released in March of 2018 titled Tomorrow Will Be Different: Love, Loss, and the Fight for Trans Equality. McBride spoke promptly at 7 p.m. and there were about 150 people in attendance, and many of the them had already read her book as they carried it with them. They were also able to get the book signed after McBride spoke.

McBride spoke about coming out as transgender in 2011 in the student newspaper at American University at age 21 while she was the student body president. She is proudly from Wilmington, Delaware and is a huge history buff. She mentioned that before this moment she would just pray that she could wake up and be herself. She had big dreams and wanted to make her parents proud.

One of the reasons she loved history so much was because she marveled at social change, but she was aware that people like her never made it very far in those history books and she wanted to change that. Before she came out as transgender she felt “a constant feeling of homesickness,” one that would only go away when she was able to be herself.

As student body president in college, she took on a lot just to fill the void and kill the pain that she couldn’t shake, but it didn’t help. While she was in church mid-way through the term she realized she could not go another day missing the beauty in the world as being someone she wasn’t so on Christmas of 2011 she came out to her parents as transgender.

She knew her parents were progressive as her older brother is gay, but it was still tough. They cried, begged her not to do it, and told her they felt like she was dying. When they received the news, they did not really have any reference points as to what transgender even really was.

Her dad began googling the word "transgender" and was baffled by the scary statistics he saw online. For example, one statistic read that 1 out of 4 transgender individuals got fired from their job. Another was that 41 percent reported attempted suicide at one point in their lives, and her dad was saddened by these statistics.

McBride expressed that because society puts so many barriers in their way, nearly half of transgender people decide that they would rather end their lives than exist in this world. She further specified that when a transgender person is embraced by their family that 41 percent drops in half and drops even further when they are embraced by their community. At the end of the day, McBride’s parents knew their job was to love, support and accept their daughter as she was and they did just that.

When McBride posted an op-ed in the student newspaper coming out as transgender every message in response from her peers was one of love, support, and celebration. She further explained that while her peers may not have been familiar with anyone that was transgender they knew that love, support and celebration was the necessary response. McBride declared that it should not be a privilege to keep your family, your job and yourself safe from violence as a transgender individual.

She does a lot of work with LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, and queer or questioning) as she fights for equality. She loves her home state of Delaware and one of her main concerns was to make it safe and secure. She noted that under legal law Delaware could deny her housing, fire her from her job, or refuse her services, simply because of her gender. She wanted things to change.

So, her and other members of the LGBTQ went down to the legislature to tell their stories and in 2013 Delaware became the first and only state to pass marriage equality and the transgender rights bill. The transgender rights bill would protect transgender individuals from discrimination.

She met her late husband Andrew Cray, who was also transgender fighting for equality. A year into their relationship, Cray was diagnosed with cancer. In August of 2014, they married on a rooftop above their apartment and just four days later he passed away. Cray profoundly changed McBride's life to say the least. He taught her how to love and be loved and he also taught her that change cannot come fast enough.

McBride was angry at society after Cray passed away because she felt as though far too many people stand in the way of someone’s wholeness and ability to freely be themselves. She expressed that society’s prejudices kept Cray inside of himself for the majority of his life and by the time he became his true self his life was cut drastically short due to his illness. She added that no individual knows how much time they have left in this world and time is something that should not be wasted.

McBride does not want to have a slow conversation about transgender equality as individuals watch their lives pass them by. She further commented that they should be able to live openly and equally in this world. They should not have to face bullying and discrimination during the school day.

With regard to the bathroom bill discussion she feels that as though simply going into the bathroom when out in public should not have to be a daunting task for transgender individuals and if the transgender community cannot simply go to the bathroom while they are out in public, then it makes it increasingly difficult for them to even leave the house.

She says although it may sound silly she feels as though the transgender community will be pushed out of public life and back into the shadows which is not fair. She stated that despite all of this discussion “time and time again we end up growing stronger” and that “change is always possible.” She says that the LGBTQ community are constantly fighting for a better tomorrow and it will be possible because of all of their hard work.

McBride is also running for the Delaware Senate in 2020 which she announced in July and if she wins she will be the state’s first transgender senator.

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