Jacksonville Advocacy Coordinator, Executive Committee
Kent Marrero is a community advocate who has worked alongside grassroots liberation movements across the Panhandle, North Florida, and Central Florida for over a decade. The Orlando/Kissimmee area was home during their youth after their family migrated from Puerto Rico.
They started out volunteering in the Kissimmee area for the 2008 Obama Campaign and a year later moved to Pensacola to attend the University of West Florida. In 2010, Kent had the opportunity to provide representation serving as a staff writer for the Deep South’s largest LGBTQ magazine and as an executive board member to the largest active GSA in the state. They navigated the same neighborhood as 2008, joining the 2012 reelection campaign and was often obligated to choose between their Queerness and Latinidad. This solidified the need to advocate for those who do not, or can not, blend in.
When they settled in the Greater Orlando Area they faced challenges in the housing and employment sectors. The price of living authenticity was a job could be lost over a bathroom and housing could be denied based on prejudice. Then Pulse happened, and the world stopped. They got to work and went down to the LGBT Center of Orlando and volunteered doing whatever was needed. First hand experience with the swarm of reporters at The LGBT Center of Orlando proved that framing is essential to keeping control of community narrative. Kent joined QLatinx post-Pulse and was finally able to celebrate their intersected identities and support their community.
The executive committee created the first remote position for them as and Advocacy Coordinator when Kent relocated to Jacksonville. QLatinx, based in Orlando, hosts programs and initiatives like the Social Justice Institute, Know Your Rights, Pathways, HIV Education, With Love and Rage, and Community Cocina. Kent now joins Equality Florida's TransAction Network in Jacksonville advocating for education, local advocacy, engagement, social justice and public policy initiatives for the intersected transgender and gender nonconforming community. Kent strives to support work fighting for a thoughtful, sustainable, and a more hopeful future.