Sarah McBride is an American politician set to be sworn in as the first transgender state senator in the United States. McBride is set to succeed the retiring Harris McDowell III as a member of the Delaware Senate. Sarah has experienced a political career punctuated by a series of firsts.
After securing an internship in the White House in 2012, Sarah became the first openly transgender woman to work in the White House in any capacity. In July 2016, she became the first openly transgender person to speak at a national party convention when she gave a four-minute speech at the Democratic National Convention.
This piece will look at Sarah’s personal life. We can confirm that she is not married.
Sarah married her first husband Andrew Cray four days before he succumbed to cancer
Sarah and Andrew bumped into each other at an LGBTQ event in the White House in June 2012. Two months later, Andrew asked Sarah out for coffee and drinks via a Facebook message. The couple found that they shared a lot in common other than their transgender histories. Sarah had come out as a transgender female several months prior, while Andrew identified as a transgender male. Sarah wrote on Medium:
“I quickly became part of his family and he quickly became part of mine. In no time, he was my partner and my best friend. To top it off, we even ended up becoming colleagues, when I joined him to work at the Center for American Progress. We began to talk about our future together, believing that it stretched far beyond anything we could imagine.”
In September 2013, Andrew was diagnosed with oral cancer. Sarah knew that recovery would be painful, but she hoped that the couple would emerge triumphant. Three months after a cancer free declaration, bloodwork revealed that Andrew’s cancer had returned and spread to the lungs. After the diagnosis, Andrew asked Sarah: “If it turns out incurable, would you marry me?”
Sarah’s answer was a resounding yes, but she expected that Andrew had at least a year left to live. Unfortunately, his health deteriorated rapidly, forcing the couple to move their wedding date forward. Andrew and Sarah wed on 24th August 2014, four days before Andrew took his final breath. Sarah and Andrew knew each other for a little over two years, but the mark he left on Sarah will last a lifetime:
“Few, if any, have ever taught me as much as Andy did. He taught me about life, perseverance, compassion, optimism, fidelity, and passion. He was one of the most impressive people I’ve ever met, yet one of the humblest (it’s amazing that he could tolerate me). Even in his final weeks, he cried less about his own luck or plight, but about the things he would no longer be able to do for others. That was Andy.”
McBride struggled for years with her sexual identity before coming out during her final week in university
For as long as she can remember, Sarah always felt like a girl. However, she knew that society expected her to be someone different. Her decision to pursue politics complicated Sarah’s conviction about her gender. She had the skills to make it big in politics, but she knew that coming out could significantly hinder her progress.
Sarah also feared that by coming out, she would disappoint the friends and family who had invested so much in seeing her succeed. She justified her decision to stay closeted by convincing herself that it wasn’t worth sacrificing the work she could do by coming out. However, it got to a point where she couldn’t hide it anymore. She wrote on Medium:
“My brother and parents greeted me with immediate support and unconditional love. Naturally, it was difficult for them… This development rocked that sense of security and for the first time in my life, they worried about my safety, my professional opportunities, my acceptance, and my happiness. And on a deeper level, they felt like they were losing me.”
For a short while, Sarah’s friends and family struggled to come to terms with her revelation, but the love they had for her never waned. Sarah’s experience with her family inspired her to come out to the world. A week before graduating from American University, McBride came out as a transgender woman via the college’s student newspaper. In her The Eagle article, Sarah expressed relief that she didn’t have to hide anymore:
“With every birthday candle extinguished, with every penny thrown, my wish was always the same. I am now blessed with the opportunity to live my wish and fulfill a truth I have known since childhood. My gratitude is great to my family and friends for accepting me as the person who they know me to be, and for letting me show them the possibilities of a life well lived.”