i-D's top 5 moments of the 2016 democratic national convention

From one transgender woman's history-making address to nine Mothers of the Movement highlighting the need to protect black lives, this week's DNC in Philadelphia was full of emotional mic-drop moments.

by Hannah Ongley
29 July 2016, 9:06pm


When the Republican National Convention finally came to a crashing halt last Thursday, various news outlets erroneously reported that Donald Trump was now polling ahead of Hillary Clinton. In fact the GOP nominee's wild week of provocative acts, quotes, and tweets appeared to hurt rather than help him, proving that love really does trump hate. Regardless of poll results, the Democratic National Convention that took place in Philadelphia this past week was a much-needed antidote to the diatribe of fear-mongering — and a particularly epic one for women. Here are five moments that generated hand-clapping, hashtags, and most importantly of all, hope. From Lena Dunham and America's hilariously poignant address to the heartfelt affirmation of Black Lives Matter, these are the times worth reliving.

Sarah McBride becoming the first transgender woman to give a speech at the DNC. 
While the transgender community has become more visible than ever on our television screens and magazine covers, the same can't exactly be said for the stages of political conventions. Yesterday, trans activist Sarah McBride made a speech for the history books when she confronted the DNC crowd to become the first openly transgender person to speak at a major party convention. The 25-year-old is currently the press secretary for the Human Rights Campaign, and this wasn't her first time at the rodeo. Four years ago McBride became the first openly trans woman to work at the White House when she scored an internship in the Office of Public Engagement. Something suggests this won't be the last time we hear from her. 

Lena Dunham and America Ferrera's Trump takedown. 
"I'm Lena Dunham, and according to Donald Trump, my body is probably like a two," the Girls creator said in her first DNC address. "I'm America Ferrera, and according to Donald Trump, I'm probably a rapist," added the actress, setting the scene for a speech that shone a light on two of the GOP candidate's yugest blind spots: sexism and racism. Dunham spoke of her experience as a pro-choice sexual assault survivor, while Ferrera drew upon her upbringing as a child of Honduran immigrants who was sometimes dependent on a free meal to get through the day. "We don't accept hatred as the norm in our communities," they finished, declaring that #LoveTrumpsHate. "So why would we ever accept it in the Oval Office?"

The important conversation about America's racist past (and present).
Michelle Obama's powers of oration reached radical new heights in a speech that tackled slavery, moral progress, and the lingering pain of a pre-civil rights era United States. "That is the story of this country, the story that has brought me to this stage tonight, the story of generations of people who felt the lash of bondage, the shame of servitude, the sting of segregation, but who kept on striving and hoping and doing what needed to be done so that today I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves," she said. She also summoned her daughters Malia and Sasha — "two beautiful, intelligent, black young women playing with their dogs on the White House lawn" — as part of a mic-drop close that Melania Trump did not bother taking notes on.


In another powerful moment for people of color, nine Mothers of the Movement — the women who lost their children to high-profile cases of police brutality — took the stage to stand with Hillary Clinton. They were: Maria Hamilton, mother of Dontré Hamilton; Annette Nance-Holt, mother of Blair Holt; Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner; Geneva Reed-Veal, mother of Sandra Bland; Lucia McBath, mother of Jordan Davis; Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin; Cleopatra Pendleton-Cowley, mother of Hadiya Pendleton; Lezley McSpadden, mother of Mike Brown; and Wanda Johnson, mother of Oscar Grant. "I'm here with Hillary Clinton because she is a leader and a mother who will say our children's names," said Reed-Veal in a heartfelt address. 

Sarah Silverman going off script. 
Sarah Silverman was a proud supporter of Bernie Sanders' revolutionary agenda before the Vermont Senator bowed out of the race and endorsed Hillary Clinton for president. "This past year I've been feeling the bern," the actress and comedian told the audience when taking the stage to introduce Paul Simon, assuring Bernie's most staunch supporters that she feels their heartbreak. But when the crowd began cheering, she proceeded to veer all the way off script. "Can I just say to the 'Bernie or Bust' people, you're being ridiculous," Silverman told the spurned Berners, echoing the sentiment that Hillary is the far lesser of two evils and Bernie's best hope is to have an ally in office. Susan Sarandon did not offer applause.

Hillary Clinton becoming America's first woman presidential nominee. 
The last week has clearly been an important one for women on stage, behind the scenes, and across the country. That feeling reached a crescendo when Hillary Clinton officially became the first woman ever to be nominated as a presidential candidate for a major political party. "This is really your victory. This is really your night," Clinton told the crowd. "And if there are any little girls out there who stayed up late to watch, let me just say I may become the first woman President. But one of you is next." 


Text Hannah Ongley
Image via Twitter

Michelle Obama
Democratic National Convention
lena dunham