Sarah McBride, an American activist, politician, and the first openly transgender state senator in the United States, has captured the nation’s attention with her groundbreaking work in advancing LGBTQ rights. Recently, she made headlines once again by announcing her bid for Delaware’s at-large seat in the House of Representatives, a race that could make her the country’s first out transgender member of Congress if successful.
As we applaud McBride’s political aspirations and her unwavering commitment to advocating for marginalized communities, it is important to reflect on the significant role her late husband, Andrew Cray, played in her life. Together, they faced triumphs and tribulations, leaving an indelible mark on the LGBTQ movement. In this article, we delve into the extraordinary life and contributions of Andrew Cray, shedding light on his inspiring love story with Sarah McBride and the enduring legacy he has left behind.
Meet Andrew Cray: Sarah McBride’s Late Husband
Andrew Cray was a passionate American activist who dedicated his life to fighting for constitutional protection within the LGBTQ community. His efforts included working closely with the Department of Health and Human Services on the Out2Enroll initiative, which aimed to connect LGBTQ individuals with health insurance coverage options. Cray’s advocacy also extended to facilitating the passage of the HOPE Act, which sought to make organ donation and transplantation more accessible to people living with HIV.
Furthermore, he played a pivotal role in drafting provisions addressing the needs of LGBTQ youth for the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act. As a founding member of Trans Legal Advocates of Washington, Cray trained attorneys on transgender legal issues and operated pro bono legal clinics for transgender clients, leaving a lasting legacy in the field of LGBTQ rights.
Inside Sarah McBride And Andrew Cray’s Relationship
Sarah McBride and Andrew Cray’s love story began unexpectedly when they bumped into each other at the White House in June 2012. A few months later, Cray reached out to McBride, asking her out for coffee and drinks via a Facebook message. Beyond their shared transgender histories, they discovered a deep connection and common interests. McBride had recently come out as a transgender female, while Cray identified as a transgender male. Their bond grew stronger, and in August 2014, they exchanged vows, solidifying their commitment to one another.
Their journey was not without challenges. In September 2013, Andrew Cray received a devastating diagnosis of oral cancer. He underwent an extensive 12-hour surgery to remove part of his tongue, followed by chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Cray’s resilience shone through as he relearned essential functions like talking and eating after his tongue was reconstructed using tissue from his arm. Throughout this difficult time, McBride stood by his side, providing unwavering support and care.
All About Andrew Cray’s Passing:
Tragically, just four days after their wedding, Andrew Cray succumbed to the complications of oral tongue cancer. Despite the adversity they faced, their love remained strong until the very end. Sarah McBride stayed with Cray as he recovered from surgery, demonstrating her unwavering dedication. The emotional weight of the situation was immense, and McBride revealed that Cray had worried she would leave him during his most vulnerable moments. Nurses in the hospital room wrote daily messages on a whiteboard for the newlyweds, commemorating what would have been their anniversaries. In recognition of Cray’s significant contributions to LGBTQ health, President Obama posthumously awarded him as a Champion of Change.
To honor his memory and continue his legacy, the Cray family established the Andrew Cray Memorial Scholarship, which provides support to LGBTQ youth pursuing post-secondary education. This scholarship serves as a testament to the enduring impact Cray had on the LGBTQ community and his commitment to creating a better future for all.