Sarah Carlson was born in Illinois but raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She came out to her supportive mother before her freshman year of high school. Her mother, noting that the local public school was not a safe environment for gay students, choose to send her to a more accepting but also more expensive college preparatory school. Sarah thrived in high school after coming out on her 15th birthday. She led her school’s Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) during her junior and senior year and drafted a proposal to put the rainbow flag up on campus. One of the few openly gay teachers on campus encouraged Sarah’s love of history and helped her explore LGBTQ issues within the classroom.
Sarah went on to study history at University of California, Berkeley as a Regent’s and Chancellor’s Scholar. Sarah joined the Student Coalition for Marriage Equality. She organized letter drives, recruited new members and participated in a door-to-door voter education and registration campaign.
Sarah plans to use her education in history to further explore the past of the LGBTQ community. She dreams of becoming a professor and writing textbooks that include and honor the LGBTQ community and its past.