Br. Sean Finn Recognized as The Advocate’s 2018 Champion of Pride from Iowa
June 6, 2018
Br. Sean Finn (Gamma Gamma Chapter) was recently recognized by The Advocate in their 2018 Champions of Pride list. This list honors just one person from each state (and D.C.) who is an “LGBT-plus change-maker.” Sean was chosen as the Champion of Pride for Iowa. The list also includes The Parkland Survivors (Florida), Adam Rippon (Pennsylvania), Tan France (Utah), and Miley Cyrus (Tennessee).
Br. Finn came out as transgender during his sophomore year of high school in his hometown of Marshalltown, IA. He gained national attention in 2016 when he spoke out about the difficulties teens face in high school (while North Carolina’s controversial bathroom bill was being introduced). When Br. Finn began attending the University of Iowa, he formed the Trans Alliance, a social and activism group for transgender students. Since starting the group, Br. Finn was worked with other UI Trans Inclusivity Taskforce members to increase the number of gender neutral restrooms on campus, created Trans@Iowa (resource website), educated over 1,000 students, staff, and community members through trans awareness workshops, helped create the Trans Student Support Fund (provides trans students with funs to change their name and gender marker on legal documents), and QUEERnival, UI’s first LGBTQ+ resource and information fair.
Outside of Br. Finn’s incredible work at UI, he also co-authored a policy brief recommending ways to improve LGBTQ student experiences to the Iowa City Community School District. As an intern for the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce, Br. Finn helped generate new ways for trans business owners in the U.S. to become certified LGBT Business Enterprises.
Br. Finn shared his reaction to the recognition on Facebook:
I am so grateful to have been recognized as the Advocate’s 2018 Champion of Pride from Iowa. I started devoting time to building queer community when I joined the SOAR club my freshman year of high school, and finally found my place in that community once I started at the University of Iowa. It is my passion and joy to advocate for the community, educate others on trans issues and experiences, and be around folks that easily understand and appreciate my queer & trans identities. I am incredibly privileged to be able to come to college, have time for my involvements, and feel safe and supported doing this work — my hope is that my use of this privilege has chipped away at the structures that gave me these privileges over others to begin with. There’s much more work to be done, though, and I look forward to taking that on in the years to come!
I am absolutely honored and humbled to be chosen as Iowa’s Champion of Pride, but all of the work I’ve done would have been far less valuable or even impossible without the work, previous and ongoing, of countless Iowans. They have both set the stage and been the allies, and I am eternally grateful that they work boldly and proudly to make progress even when the odds seem against us. I am so proud to be a queer, trans Iowan!
Happy Pride, everyone!!
We’re incredibly proud of how Sean has made his presence make a difference in Iowa City, Iowa, and the United States!