Book Review: Tomorrow Will Be Different: Love, Loss and The Fight for Trans Equality by Sarah McBride

When I came out, I never anticipated just how far the LGBTQ community and movement would come in so short a time. Inheriting a legacy of advocates, activists, and everyday people who, through the flames of violence and the ashes of hatred, toiled and fought for a different world, we’ve grown into one of the most effective movements for social justice in history. And even as we’ve faced some crushing defeats, transgender people—and all LGBTQ individuals—have made historic advancements.

Sarah McBride has written a heartfelt and politically charged memoir that chronicles her journey as a transgender women, political advocate and newlywed forced to face a health crisis with her husband. Tomorrow Will Be Different is a eye-opening look into the fight for transgender equality in an age where LGBTQ rights are finally being given a portion of the reform they deserve. Not only that, but it is a tale of love: new love, love in time of hardship and the overall general love for humanity.

When we meet Sarah it is in the minutes before she makes her gender identity struggle known to the greater student body of her college campus after her final moments as student body president come to a close. Despite the progressive lien of her politically motivated campus, she is riddled with doubts and nerves at the possibility of ridicule and rejection—feelings all to familiar to any person, LGBTQ or not, who has made the decision to share with others their secrets.

After surpassing hurdle upon hurdle—often met with a mixture of love and acceptance and bigotry and hatred, Sarah’s life takes a turn that will forever change her and the impact she can have on transgender equality,

It’s impossible to express the profound liberation and sensation of being able to do something as your true self when, for years, you’ve never been able to actually be yourself. That’s true for the small things, but particularly so for the moments that would be exciting for anyone, such as beginning an internship at the White House. I had spent my life never truly experiencing moment like the, but now I was fully there. I was truly living.

Fortunate enough to come of age in the Obama/Biden administration, Sarah secures the ultimate opportunity to work in the White House, serving the needs and being the voice for countless other LGBTQ people whose collective voice was finally being heard. Drawing from her earlier experiences in her home state of Delaware, Sarah strives to bring to light the basic rights of LGBTQ, particularly trans individuals, and works to push new policies into place to provide basic protections for others like herself. Through her story we are able to learn just how tough this fight is and how hard she has worked to improve the lives of LGBTQ people in America.

Along the way, Sarah meets someone who shares her passion for politics and LGBTQ rights and together they navigate the world of public policy and young love. Drawn together and bonded over shared experiences, it seems for a moment that Andy and Sarah could conquer the world. That is, until one word turns that world upside down: cancer.

“If it turns out to be terminal, would you marry me?”

I don’t think it’s possible for a sentence to contain more tragedy and more love in it: eleven words that encompass the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. Sitting on our big overstuffed couch , just below a framed cartoon that almost cruelly read “Game Over”, Andy asked me to be his wife.

And so 24-year-old Sarah must now navigate the fearful waters ahead as the love of her life and her ultimate supporter battles cancer. Through this experience we are reminded of the depth and purity of love and devotion and the absolute unfairness of the world.

As the Obama/Biden presidency draws to a close, Sarah reflects on the highlights of recent years and the success she has helped orchestrate for trans and other LGBTQ people. However, as we now know, the political climate has drastically changed, but she leaves us with a positive insight that serves to reassure LGBBTQ and allies alike that all the hard work of the previous eight years wasn’t for nothing.

In all the talk about what we might lose, the fact remained that most of our progress was irreversible. The hearts we had opened would not close. The minds we had changed would not reverse. The laws we had passed remained on the books. Marriage equality was the law of the land nationwide. And while the Trump administration would likely seek to roll back many of our administrative advancements, they wouldn’t succeed on every one. We’d have a new alliance of allies standing shoulder to shoulder with us as we fight back.

A rousing and educational look into the life of one transgender woman and the strength she has in times of hardship and loss, Tomorrow Will Be Different is a must-read for anyone who has struggled with accepting themselves or battled along side a partner in the fight for their life.

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A review copy of this title was provided by Crown Publishing (Archetype)

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