JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – During the month of March, News4Jax is highlighting the contributions women have made to history, culture and society.
On Sunday, News4Jax sat down with Brooklyn Owen, the first trans woman to run for Florida Senate District 6, to see what Women’s History Month means to her.
“It really is the time to empower women,” said Owen, a Jacksonville native. “It means that we should appreciate the trail that has been blazed by women who’ve come before us and whose shoulders we stand on and then continue to push forward to make change.”
News4Jax first met Owen, who was born Seth, in 2018.
“I was raised in a really conservative Southern Baptist family, and my parents kicked me out after being sent to conversion therapy,” Owen said. “And my college, Georgetown, refused to amend my financial aid package, and so a teacher started a GoFundMe for me, and it went viral and ended up on News4Jax and then later “Ellen,” and that led to a career of activism where I’ve continued to fight for marginalized communities, particularly queer youth of color, who have faced similar situations to the one I did.”
Owen founded Unbroken Horizons, a 501(c)(3) that empowers LGBTQ+ students to overcome adversity while furthering their education through scholarships.
“I have closeness, proximity to these issues. It wasn’t too many years ago that I was facing homelessness and experiencing what it’s like to study at a Title I high school, and I think those, that proximity to the issues, has prepared me to take it to the Legislature and find solutions that really work for the everyday person,” Owen said.
Owen also explained why she’s running for office.
“I am not running because I am a trans woman, I am running because we need to fix education and we need to fix climate and we need to do it yesterday,” Owen said. “So that means we need to act now.”
Like women before her, Owen said her goal is to contribute to Women’s History Month in a way that lifts up the women of the future.