“For me, it’s an honor and it’s a privilege,” said Sharron Cooks. (Getty/PopSugar)
“I’m the only African American trans woman delegate,” said Sharron Cooks. “For me, it’s an honor and it’s a privilege.”
Cooks was attending the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, where she told PopSugar that she attended in support of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, the LGBTQ community and women.
“I think her unique perspective will bring a different understanding to the presidency that has been male-dominated since 1789,” Cooks told PopSugar.
The LGBTQ community had a heightened visibility at the DNC. Of all the delegates, 11.5% were LGBTQ and 28 were transgender men and women. It was the largest number of transgender delegates at a major party convention in history, reported PopSugar. The DNC was also the first presidential convention to feature all-gender bathrooms.
“It’s one of the most progressive platforms for LGBT,” said Cooks.
Activist and trans woman Sarah McBride spoke on the final night of the DNC, making her the first transgender person to ever address a major party’s convention.
“Will we be a nation where there’s only one way to love, only one way to look, and only one way to live?,” asked McBride at the DNC on Thursday, July 28. “Or will we be a nation where everyone has the freedom to live openly and equally?”
Despite the inclusiveness seen at the DNC, Cooks told PopSugar that there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done to protect the LGBTQ community, especially to combat violence against transgender women of color. Cooks said such violence goes unreported by mainstream media and unrecognized by many politicians.
“There are trans women of color who are victims of violence,” said Cooks. “It doesn’t get the same time of financial support. It doesn’t get the same type of social or political support, and I would really like to see that change.”
The transgender delegates at the DNC used their voices to promote the Equality Act, which would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to offer protection for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities.