Tell us about yourself! What do you do for a living? What are your interests? What are your pronouns?
Representative Brianna Titone (she/her) I am a state legislator and software developer. I used to work as a geologist in the mining and environmental fields. In my spare time, I love to hike, bake, run, and write.
About how old were you when you came out? How was the climate you grew up in?
I grew up in a conservative farming region in the Hudson Valley of New York State. No one in my community to my knowledge was out, and queerness was met with ridicule and phobia in my town. I struggled with feelings of fear and shame for decades. I also lacked positive trans role models in the 80’s and 90’s, and so I barely understood who I was to begin with. The image of transgender people back then was painted in a bad light and I’m so thankful so much has changed since then.
After decades of constant inner struggle and self acceptance, I came out as trans in 2015. I was 37 years old. My story isn’t as common for younger millennials and Gen Z, who are often able to come out at a younger age. However, there are plenty of folks who come out in their 30’s, 40’s, or even later. The lesson in this is that there’s no one way to find yourself, no one way to reach self acceptance, and no one way to come out.
Did you make career choices that allowed you to feel comfortable being open about your sexuality? (Are you out or feel comfortable being out at your workplace?)
I opted into career paths that aligned with my degrees and interests in STEM. I have degrees in physics, geology, geochemistry, and information technology. That’s to say I really love science. I’ve worked as a geologist, software developer, and served as a volunteer firefighter. In 2018, I ran for a seat in the Colorado General Assembly, ready to serve my district to work on the most important issues to my district: healthcare access, consumer protections, and the environment.
I am now serving in my second term and third legislative year. I love my job in the General Assembly. The majority of my colleagues are very accepting people with a commitment to equity in the workplace, and that includes treating me with genuine respect. Not every state legislature is firmly accepting of trans folks, which is one reason why there’s only 8 of us nationwide.
Who were your role models growing up? What tv shows/movies allowed you to feel seen?
Role Models: Danica Roem, Laverne Cox, Vice President Kamala Harris
TV / Movies that allow me to feel seen: Sense8, Disclosure, Boy Meets Girl.
Complete the sentence, if I knew ____________ back when I was first figuring myself out, I would tell my younger self that _____________________?
If I knew that in the future trans people would be accepted back when I was first figuring myself out, I would tell my younger self that you’re not strange, weird, or bad, and people just aren’t ready for you yet, but they will be.