You have to take risks if you want to do big things. You will undoubtedly fail and make some mistakes, but it’s learning from those mistakes that will help you reach your dreams.

~Brittany M. Novotny


Thumbnail link: Oklahoma Magazine's 2012 40 Under 40 page for Brittany M. NovotnyOklahoma Magazine recently released their 2012 list of Oklahoma’s 40 Under 40. The magazine describes their list in this way:

There are overachievers, and then there is Oklahoma Magazine’s 40 Under 40 Class of 2012. These 40 individuals represent the cream of the crop in their respective industries; from health care and education to business and entertainment, we present 40 movers and shakers that make Oklahoma a more exciting place to live.

Number 32 on this list of Oklahoman movers and shakers is attorney Brittany M. Novotny.

You may remember Novotny from her run against Oklahoma State Representative Sally Kern — Kern being the state lawmaker who described homosexuality as a greater threat to the United States than terrorism. You may also remember Novotny from being President of the Young Democrats of Oklahoma (she’s now the immediate past President of the organization).

But she’s more than those things. Some other items on her resume:

  • She earned her J.D. from the University of California – Hastings in 2005.
  • She was admitted to the Oklahoma Bar in 2005; she started her own law practice in Oklahoma City in 2007.
  • She’s on the board of The Equality Network — Oklahoma’s chapter of the Equality Federation.
  • She’s successfully settled employment discrimination cases on behalf of transgender clients in Oklahoma, using the Price-Waterhouse case framework for sex discrimination based on gender stereotyping.
  • She has, and is representing people in cases against local police departments, including ten people connected with Occupy OKC who were chanting inside a Walmart in Del City when employees asked them to leave — the protesters (according to FOX 25, Oklahoma City) say that as they were leaving, Del City police officers violently and unjustifiably arrested all ten of them for disorderly conduct.

When I think about communities — whether the community is African-American, LGBT, Feminist, or Trans — I often think of this quote from Cesar Chavez:

We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community…Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.

Brittany Novotny thinks big, and has taken risks to achieve big things. And while achieving goals for herself, she hasn’t forgotten about the progress, prosperity, and needs of marginalized communities in her home state of Oklahoma — it’s been a significant focus of her life. With that in mind, there’s good reason why she’s been identified by Oklahoma Magazine‘s as one of Oklahoma’s 40 under 40.

Oh…did I forget to mention Brittany Novotny is transgender?