Professional Development

After transphobic harassment, activist Sarah McBride shares powerful call to action

A viral video showed two radical feminists harassing Sarah McBride. But the Delaware-born activist's Twitter reaction is ringing louder.

Sarah McBride speaks at National LGBTI Pride Month 2017. (Photo by Flickr user U.S. Customs and Border Protection, used under a Creative Commons license)

Sarah McBride, national press secretary of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and a Delaware native, remained perfectly calm as two women barged in on a private meeting and openly harassed her on Wednesday, shortly after she and HRC’s Parents for Transgender Equality Council had met with members of U.S. Congress.

The two women, identified by Gay Star News as Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists (TERFs) activists Posie Parker and Julia Long, repeatedly misgendered McBride — a trans woman — and badgered her as they broadcasted the incident on Facebook Live. (For context: TERF activists believe the inclusion of trans women in female-only spaces is equivalent to allowing men into them.)

McBride, a graduate of Cab Calloway School of the Arts, was the first transgender person to address a major national political convention when she spoke at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. Currently, she is campaigning for the approval of the Equality Act, which would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to add the prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in the United States.

Her response to the transphobic harassment by the two women — who are connected to an anti-trans protest at London Pride last summer — has garnered thousands of interactions on social media, and may ultimately go more viral than the video of the harassment itself:

The U.S. Congress, civil rights activists and celebrities, including Laverne Cox and Natasha Lyonne, were some of countless people and institutions to show support for McBride in the wake of the incident.

HRC is campaigning for the Trump administration to pass the Equality Act, which would provide better legal protections for LGBT+ people in the U.S.

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