Meet the Interns: Simone Chriss
1. Tell us a little about yourself...
My name is Simone Chriss and I am so excited to be doing my first legal externship with Equality Florida. I am a second year law student at the University of Florida Levin College of Law and I have an unyielding passion for equality and justice. Growing up in a family that did foster care did more than I can express with regards to shaping the person I am today. From an incredibly early age, a passion to help those in need was developed within me, and was fostered over the many years of taking dozens of children into our home. I can think of no better place than Equality Florida to begin my career in advocacy law.
2. Why are you involved with LGBT activism?
As a lesbian, but more importantly as a human being, I feel it is my duty to ensure that every individual is treated equally, and to speak out against the injustices that exist in our society. I was raised to believe that people are good, and I truly believe that homophobia stems not from malice, but from fear of the unknown. I want to work with Equality Florida to open the eyes of all those who stand in the way of a safer, brighter future for generations of LGBT individuals to come.
3. Why did you want to intern at Equality Florida?
I was born and raised in the small town of Archer, Florida, where I was fortunate enough to be raised on a beautiful little farm in the country. While I love my hometown, it isn’t known for being the most progressive of places. At a local city council meeting where the addition of sexual orientation to the county human rights ordinance was being discussed, I met the public policy director of Equality Florida, Mallory Garner-Wells. I instantly knew I wanted to be a part of the movement this fierce woman was fighting for.
4. What are your plans after you graduate?
Upon graduation from law school, I plan to pursue a career in public interest law because I believe that lawyers have the unique ability to serve the public in a way that most people cannot. Lawyers in our society have the incredible capability to provide justice to those who need it most and, with every case, the opportunity to make the world a slightly more fair and equal place. Whether I end up advocating on behalf of underrepresented foster children or crusading for equal rights, I will be a zealous proponent of justice. Also, after I graduate, I plan to marry my beautiful partner – so let’s get this marriage equality fight over with already!
Stay tuned next week for the next blog post in our "Meet The Interns" series!