How Sarah McBride Became America's
First Openly Transgender Senator
A TRUE TALE WITH
A CHERRY ON TOP
Crown Books for Young Readers
(Penguin Random House)
(pub.35.9.2023) 4o pages
Author: Meeg Pincus
Illustrator: Meridth McKean Gimbel
Character: Sarah McBride
" As a kid, Sarah McBride dreamed of running for office so she could help people in her community. When her friends asked for bicycles for Christmas, Sarah asked for a podium. Her friends and family encouraged her to follow this path, but there was one problem: they saw Sarah as a boy, and Sarah knew she was a girl. Every night, she’d replay the day in her head, watching how it would have played out if she was able to live as the girl she knew herself to be.
In college, she finally came out as Sarah, and in 2020 she won her election to become a Delaware State Senator, making her the highest-ranking trans political official in the country and a hero to kids everywhere who want to live their dreams and be themselves!"
" Each day of her [college] presidency, Sarah worked hard ... as the young man everyone saw her as.
But each night, to be able to sleep at all, she had to imagine her entire day again ... as the young woman she really was.
The homesick feeling had only grown inside her, like a big dark cloud swallowing the sun.
She was doing the work that she'd dream of as a child. But still she cried and prayed to wake up as herself."
And something more: Meeg Pincus in the Author's Note explains that "Reading about Sarah in our college alumni magazine in 2012 broke open something in my heart. I was so moved by, and proud of, the campus embracing her. I also realized that, as a cis woman, even though I'd studied gender in graduate school and was working for gay rights, I really didn't know about trans experiences. So I began reading all the life stories I could find from trans authors. I saw common feelings within different lives, and a long history of our culture erasing and harming trans people...
"When we hear someone's story, feel their heart - in life or through a book - it becomes hard to fear or dehumanize them... Diverse children's books can open space for learning and healing, for compassion and cooperation. They can make us less afraid, less alone, more connected. They can change, even save, lives."
I had the privilege of attending The Writing Barn virtual book launch of Door by Door and Senator McBride and her mother attended. And as Meeg Pincus said, she was grateful Sarah could join and have everyone hear how eloquent and amazing she is.