Brooke has been in the Christmas tree business since she was 13 years old. She worked on and off for a family in town who had their own tree farm. Then one day, the owner asked her if she wanted to buy a plot of land and run her own farm. She jumped at the chance. And though things have been pretty typical for her as a new small business owner – that is, busy, and barely breaking even – she’s happier than she’s ever been. For many years, however, Brooke was afraid and confused, she was miserable, and couldn’t shake the idea of something she’d always felt but never been able to put into words: She is transgender. When she accepted this and decided to transition, she was nervous, not knowing how people would react. However, she found incredible support from her family and her partner, and now lives proudly as the woman she’s long known herself to be. Brooke wants all transgender people to have the same opportunities that have come her way.
“As an individual who is well-educated, a hard worker, and who could be a benefit to any company, the idea that one would miss out on the opportunity as an employee because of their gender identity is mind-boggling,” Brooke said. “My business is about freedom. Freedom to celebrate, regardless of religion, race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, you can have a tree and enjoy it. That’s why I’m adamant about making sure everyone has equal opportunities.”