Sarah McBride is a force to be reckoned with.
Since coming out as transgender while serving as the student body president at American University in Washington, D.C., six years ago, McBride has lived a public life that’s helped drive the mainstream movement for transgender equality.
With her passion for politics, LGBTQ rights and fighting for a more just society, McBride has gone from the White House, to the Democratic National Convention, to one of the most influential LGBTQ advocacy organizations in the world. She was the first openly transgender White House intern and the first openly transgender person to address a major party convention. She currently serves as the national press secretary for the Human Rights Campaign.
And now, McBride is detailing her history-making journey in her new memoir, Tomorrow Will Be Different: Love, Loss, and the Fight for Trans Equality.
She stopped by the Build Series on Tuesday to chat with HuffPost Queer Voices Editor James Michael Nichols about the book and her life in the public eye.
“Everyone’s journey to coming out as transgender is different,” McBride said. “For me, I’ve know that I’m transgender my entire life. I think it’s really difficult for folks that aren’t transgender to really wrap their mind around the feeling of having a gender identity that differs from their sex assigned at birth. But for me, it felt like a constant feeling of homesickness. An unwavering ache in the pit of my stomach that would only go away when I could be seen and affirmed as myself.”
McBride’s highly emotional, even vulnerable, book also tells the story of her late husband, Andrew Cray. Andy, who was transgender as well, died of cancer just days after their wedding.
“What my relationship and his passing taught me in my work as an advocate is truly change cannot come fast enough,” McBride said. “Every single day matters when it comes to building a world where every person can live their life to the fullest.”
McBride had some suggestions for those who want to be allies for queer and trans people in creating a more just world. She said that allies should call and email their representatives on the issues, in particular nondiscrimination protections for trans people.
But this was her key piece of advice:
“The first thing we need allies to do is listen,” McBride said. “Come to us with a willingness to grow and evolve. You’re going to make mistakes and that’s fine, but be willing to listen and grow from those mistakes. I think that’s the most important trait an ally can have.”
Head here for more information on Tomorrow Will Be Different and check out the interview in full above.