Ask an Expert Presents: LGBTQ+ and Finding My Way in the Maritime Industry

Kelsey BrennerAll

By Susan Brittain. Get your free ticket to the LGBTQ+ panel with Susan Brittain on March 17 here!

“I believe that no one should ever have to choose between a career we love and living our lives with authenticity and integrity.” —Selisse Berry, Out & Equal.

Janet Mock, the transgender activist believes that telling our stories “first to ourselves and then to one another and to the world, is a revolutionary act.” We wish to thank the Wooden Boat Foundation’s Ask an Expert series for reaching out to the LGBTQ+ maritime community and allowing us to share our own personal stories working in the marine trades.   

The session will be hosted by Sound Experience’s Susan Brittain, who will share her own story, and invite the following panelists to share theirs:

Lou Geraghty – Lou is an apprentice carpenter at Haven Boatworks, LLC. Lou is a graduate of the Marine Systems and the Traditional Wooden Boatbuilding Courses at Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding and lives in Port Townsend.

Amy Kovacs – Amy is the Program Director at Sound Experience. Amy first came aboard Adventuress in 2009 as an Educator/Deckhand and moved up to Program Coordinator and now supports the crew and shipboard community while working with schools and educators to facilitate life-changing programs aboard Adventuress.

Tiffany Krihwan – Captain of the schooner Ernestina Morrissey, Tiffany has been a tall ship captain for over 25 years. She’s worked on many tall ships including the schooner Roseway, chief mate of the Pride of Baltimore II, relief captain of brigantine Exy Johnson and captain of the tall ship Unicorn. Tiffany was the 2019 Tall Ships America – Sail Trainer of the Year.

Susan Brittain – has lived on two continents, sailed on two oceans, and lived in two genders. Susan has spent close to 40 years working as a captain on various schooners and wooden workboats, in addition to working as a carpenter, calker, and rigger on the building and restoration of several ships. She has been with Sound Experience since 2018 and is the recipient of the Tall Ships America 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award.  

Please join us on Thursday, March 17, 5:00–6:30 PM (PST) to hear from people working in the maritime industry, who just happen to be LGBTQ+ and out. Tickets to this session are free and can be obtained at