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A Clear Positive Vision for Women and Queer People, Despite a Murky Present

Over the past four years, I have been on a journey where international human rights, gender, sexuality, and feminism are deeply entwined. As I studied international human rights law, I began to think and write about issues affecting women and queer people all around the world, from immigration laws to rape in conflict situations to housing discrimination against same-sex couples to abuse of transgender sex workers in the Global South. My learning, writing, and activism has been an ongoing process of ideas that build upon one another, as I learn how different oppressions create a global oppressive system and how law, policy, education, and media all sustain this system.

Since my legal studies ended in 2009, I have continued to dedicate myself to toppling an oppressive system and to the creation and sharing of ideas that can erode this system in different ways. With my blog, Radically Queer, and my Twitter, @queerscholar, I have engaged women and queer people around the world and learned to use social media to share ideas and strategies. I believe in activism through arts, education, and media as much as through politics, policy, and law.

I come to Voices of Our Future hungry for more knowledge and connections so that I can translate this idea-work through writing into concrete change. My work is now on a precipice where I believe that with more influence, connections, and media savvy, I can be a key player in bringing about global change through investigative journalism, activism, and encouraging dialogue. As a genderqueer person who was raised female, I have a unique voice to use in discussing gender inequality and patriarchy. As a legal scholar, I have the know-how to work with others and build effective strategies. As a non-profit professional, I understand how organizations work and fit into the larger landscape. And as a compassionate human rights enthusiast, I realize the limitations of a white, Western voice and want to work with those who are marginalized in other ways to bring about change.

My vision of a world without patriarchal structures, without gender-based violence, without homophobia and transphobia, may seem impossible now. But I recently heard something that struck me--hosting the Rachel Maddow Show, Melissa Harris-Perry commented on the strong faith of many African slaves in the United States, explaining that these people had faith despite the fact that their God had never given them freedom, despite the fact that they could not em see freedom. I believe that having a vision means working towards a world you cannot see, cannot even fully imagine. I think that World Pulse and Voices of Our Future fit in with my vision because this program is an opportunity to work with others towards a revolutionary future that may seem impossible right now.


Beejay's picture

Freedom calling

Hi ,

Nice post you've got here. I cannot agree with you less. One day, and very soon, the path of revolution will explode. Let's keep working. We will get there.

Beejay Fabamise, Nigeria

judithavory's picture

Thanks for the support,

Thanks for the support, Beejay! I hope you're right. I plan to keep working hard until we get there.

Stella Paul's picture

I hope

Glad to see you here. Wishing you much luck! Deep down in me, I feel (and when it comes to my country, I am sure of this) there are many Transgender friends who are still hesitating to join this forum. I believe you can be an inspiration for them!

Stella Paul
Twitter: @stellasglobe

judithavory's picture

Hi, Stella! I think you may

Hi, Stella! I think you may be right. Sadly, it's hard to be out as trans or gender non-conforming in female spaces, but I feel that we have so many goals in common as people who are hurt by a patriarchal system that perpetuates gender inequality. I love hearing about the great things women are doing here and want to support and be involved!


fem4femmes's picture


Judith, the reading of you post has filled me with immense satisfaction and confidence! - that with women of your skill, passion and dedication, there is no end to what we can do!! We can create a revolutionary future!!

Much love and support,


"I am the flicker, flame, butterfly ablaze who wants to fly in search of mythical rainbows beyond the rain." ~ Ana Castillo

judithavory's picture

Thank you, Marissa! I hope

Thank you, Marissa! I hope you're right!

Hiba's picture

Hi Judith, Nice post! You

Hi Judith,

Nice post! You need not be reminded that impossible, especially for someone like you, is only a word - keeping it or diminishing it is all up to you. I believe you just chose the latter. . .

Good luck.


Anne D.'s picture

Working toward a world you cannot see

Judith, you are a clear and thoughtful writer. You have the background, know-how and passion to help bring about concrete change. What really stood out to me is where you talk about what having a vision means. Truly empowering.

Anne D.'s picture

Working toward a world you cannot see

Judith, you are a clear and thoughtful writer. You have the background, know-how and passion to help bring about concrete change. What really stood out to me is where you talk about what having a vision means. Truly empowering.

Dear Judith,

I deeply appreciate your essay addressing the human rights violations faced by our queer and transgender sisters, a community deserving global support. Your voice and insights (legal, scholarly & personal) are invaluable and provides women across the globe a platform of support and understanding.

You are a gifted and compassionate writer. What you can not see, you FEEL in your HEART! A powerful vision indeed.

With Gratitude,

Linda M. Ando

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