The independent student news site of San Marcos, California

The Cougar Chronicle

The independent student news site of San Marcos, California

The Cougar Chronicle

The independent student news site of San Marcos, California

The Cougar Chronicle

Student Spotlight: Chelsea Brown, leading through advocacy


By Jasmine Demers

News Editor

Chelsea Brown is a dedicated student leader on campus who has turned her personal hardship into fuel towards helping others and advocating for change.

Brown is currently a third-year Political Science major at CSUSM, and she identifies as a Transgender Woman. Throughout her college career, Brown has made an effort to be involved in campus organizations such as ASI, The Gender Equity Center and the LGBTQA Pride Center as a Peer Educator.

The Northern California native is also hoping to spread her activism throughout the community by working with outside organizations such as the Vista Community Clinic and the San Diego LGTBQ Resource Centers.

By working as a Peer Educator on campus, Brown said she aims to transform the campus climate and make a positive impact on students.

“Working with these organizations has given me the opportunity to not only grow as a person, but also grow in a way that allows me to be a better advocate for not only what I believe in, but for what is fundamentally right,” she said. “I’ve always been someone who tends to fight for rights of the marginalized, and so being in the spaces and working with these organizations has given me a way to reach a larger audience at a more effective level.”

Brown holds a passion for representing a larger group of individuals who experience injustice every day. She is proud of the commitment that she has for helping others and her ability to treat everyone as her equal.

“I reflect a lot on where I am now, how I got here and the things I’ve had to overcome. I’ve beaten 12 years of depression. I survived my numerous suicide attempts. I’ve battled through years of self-loathing and self-hatred because I wasn’t comfortable being who I was. And now I’m here. I’ve survived. I’m about to graduate college; I’m about to live a life of advocacy and empowerment. And that means something to me on a deeply personal level,” Brown said.

Brown said that she has had to experience some hardship that only motivated her to push forward and continue her fight so that she could also support other individuals who have had the same experiences.

“Some of the hardships I’ve had to face on this campus are mainly in regards to my status as a transgender woman. Now I’m sure that many of my classmates will see this article, and it will out me to them. But I’m actually okay with that,” she said. “The problem I’ve run into before is how do I address this with professors and other faculty members, especially since they may not really be used to the idea of having a transgender student in their class.”

Brown said that she aims to make an impact at CSUSM by making a commitment to inform the community of these issues, and making it so that future Trans* identified students feel comfortable and accepted by policy enacted by campus administration.

Some of the issues that Brown referred to are policies regarding name changes for Trans* students and using the preferred name and gender in place of the legal name. She also discusses issues regarding the need for more gender-neutral bathrooms on campus.

While discussing her future goals, Brown said she hopes to go into the field of Journalism and Public Policy.

“In terms of future goals, more than anything, I want to be a writer and a journalist. I want to take the passions and stories of people from around the world and make them into something even more beautiful: a shared, universal experience,” Brown said. “At some point in my life as well, I’d like to get into issues of public policy, specifically, I’d like to work as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. But, I might just settle for White House Press Secretary!”

Brown’s ambitions and inspirational attitude has already made a long lasting impact on CSUSM and will furthermore continue to influence the rest of the world.

“I think as people, we tend to get wrapped up in the drama and worries of everyday life, and as a result, we lose sight of what’s really important in my opinion, and that’s helping others and being good humans,” she said. “We all live here on this earth together. It is only due to society and her constructs that poverty, war and other issues persist in our lives. The ability to end poverty and other issues begins when one realizes that it is a natural right of humans to survive and thrive freely and openly in our fleeting existences.”

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    Lisa SnyderApr 27, 2015 at 6:28 pm

    Wonderful article about an awesome young lady. Keep fighting the good fight, Chelsea – the world needs more people like you!