The Republicans may have had their first speaker address being gay from the podium at last week’s convention, but the Democratic National Convention is making LGBTQ history of its own.
“Hillary Clinton won’t be the only woman to make history this Thursday. When Sarah McBride takes the stage, she will become the first transgender person to speak at a national Democratic or Republican convention,” explained Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin, who will also address the crowd that evening. “Sarah’s inclusion in Thursday’s program is a significant milestone for our community, and it sends a strong message that transgender people and their voices matter.”
McBride is national press secretary for the Human Rights Campaign Foundation and a member of the steering committee for Trans United for Hillary.
“I’m honored for this opportunity to share my story and to be the first transgender person to speak at a major party convention,” McBride said in a statement. “People must understand that even as we face daily harassment, tragic violence, and an onslaught of anti-LGBTQ political attacks across the country, we are real people merely seeking to be treated with the dignity and respect every person deserves.”
Transgender people are playing unprecedented roles in this year’s Democratic National Convention this year with a record 27 transgender delegates planning to attend, and longtime transgender advocate Mara Keisling is serving on the party’s platform committee.
The inclusion of so many transgender and LGB folks in the Democratic National Convention and its platform process stands in stark contrast to the Republicans’. While Republicans passed the most anti-LGBTQ party platform in history, the Democrats’ proposed platform includes planks endorsing comprehensive non-discrimination laws, opposing anti-LGBTQ bills, condemning anti-transgender violence, and calling for the party to promote LGBTQ equality around the globe.
“Next week’s Democratic National Convention will underscore the stark contrast between Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine’s vision for a more equal America,” McBride said, “and Donald Trump and Mike Pence’s agenda of hate and division.”