Brooke Thorne is a lifelong Arizonan, born on the Air Force base in Tucson, AZ. Brooke was born male but knew from a young age that she is female, and so in 2013 she came out as transgender and transitioned from male to female, living each day as the woman she has long known herself to be. Brooke came out as transgender at work in 2015 and initially received affirmation from her supervisor. But just about a month later, despite a history of excellence on the job, Brooke was fired. She also faced discrimination at a second job, at Old Navy, where her hours were cut to the point where she could not make ends meet. Later, she faced tension at a third job – tension related to her gender identity.
Being transgender is hard enough,” Brooke said. “You’re considering whether you’re passable or not passable, and it’s already stressful and you’re already nervous as it is. People in my community should be able to go to work and know that at least they’re protected at work – that at least their financial security is protected. It can make that bit of a difference to someone who’s barely holding on.”