Scholar Class – 2012
Pete Subkoviak was born in Madison, Wisconsin to two loving, religious parents. He entered the world physically female, but never identified as anything other than male. From the age of three, Pete insisted that he was a boy. At the time few had any knowledge of gender identity and thus mental health professionals encouraged Pete to change his identity; by the age of ten he had become deeply depressed and suicidal. After several years Pete, with the support of family and friends, finally began to physically transition, gained a second chance at life, and went after it with passion. During college, Pete became a de facto public speaker, teaching medical and education professionals about the transgender community. He also interned for Senator Russ Feingold. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin ‐ Madison, Pete pursued a career dedicated to the public good, working on state and federal HIV policy for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago. There he led the Illinois Alliance for Sounds AIDS Policy, a grassroots coalition of AIDS advocates, sat on the leadership of the Citywide LGBT Coalition to progress LGBT rights in Chicago, and started his own opinion editorial blog on the Huffington Post. Pete has also partnered with a local charity to create an innovative transgender employment program, which they plan to implement over the next year. If successful, it would be the first dual housing and employment program for this community. Pete’s academic trajectory is toward a Masters of Public Health degree with a concentration in policy and leadership at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.