Rowan Potter, class of 2019


In this interview, Rowan Potter, Brown University class of 2019, discusses their undergraduate experiences navigating student leadership, gender identity, mental health, and disability justice on campus.

Potter begins by describing the public school they attended in Ridgewood, New Jersey, their parents’ educational backgrounds, and their 12-year experience developing leadership skills with their mother through the Girl Scouts. Potter also discusses coming out as a lesbian while in high school and bringing that experience to Brown.

Potter reminisces about the Third World Transition Program and being able to explore society and power dynamics before their first classes even began. They also talk about a panic attack they experienced on the main green that led them to utilizing Brown’s mental health services, uncovering that they are autistic, and pursuing disability justice for fellow students. Furthermore, they detail their involvement in and leadership of the Queer Alliance, how they came to identify as non-binary, and their experience as a non-binary person at Brown.

Potter concludes the interview by encouraging students to trust and prioritize themselves, and by explaining their attempts to establish a Disability Justice and Cultural Center on campus. They also explain that upon 2019 graduation, they plan to move to Boston, Massachusetts, and find a career counseling LGBTQ youth.


Recorded on April 23, 2019 in Alumnae Hall, Brown University, Providence, RI
Interviewed by Mary Murphy, Nancy L. Buc ’65 LLD‘94 hon Pembroke Center Archivist and Amanda Knox, Pembroke Center Assistant Archivist

Suggested Chicago style citation: Potter, Rowan. Interview. By Mary Murphy and Amanda Knox. Pembroke Center Oral History Project, Brown University. April 23, 2019.


Rowan Potter grew up in Ridgewood, New Jersey. They participated in Girl Scouts for 12 years. They graduated from Ridgewood High School in 2014 and went on to attend Brown University. While at Brown, Potter led the Queer Alliance and made strides toward establishing a Disability Justice and Cultural Center. They graduated from Brown in 2019 with their A.B. in Gender and Sexuality Studies. They currently live in Boston, Massachusetts.