Brooke Guinan is a trans identified femme advocate, civil servant, and native New Yorker. Brooke grew up on Long Island in a traditional but supportive household where she came out not once but three times in an effort to finally find an identity that fit. Their journey to self-discovery eventually led to pursuing a degree in sociology and gender studies, but it was their passion for helping others that ultimately led her to becoming the first openly transgender firefighter in the New York City Fire Department.
It was as a transgender firefighter that Brooke gained the attention of media outlets and decided to put their platform to good use. In 2014 she served as a model for the Vocal Organization for International Courage and Equality’s “So Trans So What” campaign. It became one of the organization’s most shared campaigns, and because of it Brooke was profiled by many news outlets including the Daily News and The Village Voice. They were a guest on the Reid Report, the Huffington Post, and BBC Worldwide. Brooke is currently the focus of an award winning feature documentary film entitled “Woman on Fire,” which premiered at DOCNYC.
After years of being the unofficial liaison for the FDNY on LGBTQ issues and events, in 2015 Brooke was given the title of LGBTQ Outreach Coordinator for the Fire Department of the City of New York. It was in this position that she oversaw the creation of the FDNY “It Gets Better” video, featuring 12 of the FDNY’s LGBTQ identified members. Brooke has also participated in numerous mentorship programs, including with the Harvey Milk High School and Live Out Loud’s “GSA” speaker series. Because of the support she received as a young adult, one of Brooke’s highest priorities is to be a role model for LGBTQ youth. Brooke oversaw the creation of the first ever FDNY LGBTQ Pride Celebration which has gone on to become an annual event. It was at the 2017 Pride Celebration that the Commissioner of the FDNY presented them with the first ever FDNY Diversity and Inclusion Award.
In 2016, Woman on Fire, a documentary feature film chronicling Brooke’s life, family, career, and trans journey premiered as an official selection at DOCNYC. Since then it has gone on to receive awards along the film festival circuit. In October of 2017, the film became widely available on Video on Demand across multiple platforms including iTunes and Amazon. It had a broadcast premiere on Starz on November 27th 2017.
Brooke has been a featured speaker across the country sharing their story and experience to educate others about LGBTQ rights issues. They served as Secretary for the United Women Firefighters, and currently serves as Secretary for FireFLAG, the LGBTQ affinity organization in the FDNY. Brooke has been honored by the New York City Comptroller, the Public Advocate, the Metropolitan Community Church, and the FDNY for her service to the LGBTQ community. She was a Grand Marshal for the 2017 NYC Pride March.