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.