Emma Brown joined ATF as a special agent (SA) in 2017 and currently works in the Indianapolis Field Office of the Columbus Field Division. She investigates violent crimes involving firearms and interstate trafficking of illegal weapons.
Brown came out as bisexual in 2021. She always knew how she felt but did not have the words to explain her feelings to her family and friends. She admits that coming out in her personal life was easier than coming out professionally but realized how important representation is in the workplace.
She acknowledges the Lavender Scare as one of the major challenges the LGBTQI+ community has faced when it comes to working for the federal government. She gives credit to the activists that paved the way for getting legal protections from discrimination in the workplace. She states, “Who we love has no bearing on our ability to do our jobs or be professionals.”
Being out and proud opened SA Brown’s eyes to the little-known issues experienced by members of the LGBTQI+ community. “There is the idea that we’re looking for special rights when all we want is to be treated equally,” Brown says. Elevating LGBTQI+ voices and speaking out against discrimination helps the fight for equality. She believes that being an ally is a big part of raising awareness.
Pride Month is extremely important to Brown because it helped her gain the courage to come out and truly be herself. She recalls a statement from former Acting Director Regina Lombardo that said, “You can’t be what you can’t see.” By embracing her identity as a bisexual woman, she strives to be the example for those who are like her. She hopes to help pave the way for future women and the LGBTQI+ community to pursue a career in law enforcement and with ATF.