Sarah McBride was poised to become the first transgender member of Congress

Delaware Sen. Sarah McBride, who is poised to become the first openly transgender member of Congress, believes she can facilitate gain respect for transgender people by being a forceful lawmaker in Washington.

McBride, 33, already the nation’s highest-ranking openly transgender elected official, said diversity in Congress has both symbolic and substantive impact but is not based on identity. Instead, she hopes that by posing as an effective legislator, she will generate acceptance through, as she puts it, “the power of proximity.”

“When you can respect someone as a really hard-working legislator, it’s hard not to see them as a person; it’s hard not to see other people like them as people,” she said in an interview.

McBride will be on the ballot in November to replace U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Delaware), who was first elected in 2016 and will run for Senate this year. McBride’s only earnest competitor, most recently Eugene Young it fell out of September 10, Acting Treasurer of the State of Delaware Colleen Davis he also withdrew from the race earlier this year. McBride, who at least raised $1.8 million for the campaign has since gained support top Democrats in the House of Representatives. Her Republican opponent Donyale Hallpicked up only $13,584 from March 31.

The district is considered blue and has elected Democrats to the House of Representatives for over a decade.

McBride’s campaign comes at a time of political division over transgender rights. During a Saturday rally in Philadelphia, former President Donald Trump promised that if elected, he would sign an executive order on his first day in office “cutting federal funding to any school that promotes critical race theory” or “transgender madness” and preventing transgender women from participating in women’s sports. The crowd of his supporters roared.

“How embarrassing is it to say that we will keep men out of women’s sports?” Trump said. “Who wants men to play women’s sports?”

McBride said The MAGA movement’s ‘trans obsession’ is part of a ‘manufactured culture war’ that irritates Trump loyalists but is not reflective of voters more broadly. He sees it as strategic diverting attention from problems to which the former president has no solution, she added.

The attacks come primarily because of the “knowledge gap” about LGBTQ people, she said.

“As people begin to understand the humanity of those affected by a particular political debate, the time is running out for anti-equality politicians to target and scapegoat themselves,” McBride said. “We saw it with gays and marriage equality… and I think the same will be true for transgender people. But this will only happen if there is full representation.”

Despite the malicious rhetoric found in conservative politics On the issue of transgender rights, McBride believes that over time he may “gain unexpected allies” in Washington.

McBride has worked with politicians whose views on LGBTQ rights concern her, and she’s found common ground on more issues than people realize, such as health care access, misinformation, paid family leave and gun safety laws, she added.

While the trust and familiarity that comes from working together won’t necessarily immediately turn conservatives into forceful allies, over time they could facilitate open their “hearts and minds,” McBride said.

Although he is on track to win in November, candidates can still apply to run in the September primary until July 9. AND McBride said she won’t leisurely down her campaign.

“I haven’t won anything yet,” she said. “I continue to work to earn the support of Delawareans across the state for the privilege of representing them, and I do not take this responsibility lightly.”

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