My vision for my life is a lifetime of activism, writing, and leadership dedicated to giving voice to those marginalized by gender or sexuality. I can see myself doing this as a journalist, as a non-profit leader, or as a writer and researcher. The means are not as important to me as the kind of work that I am doing. My vision also incorporates balance. In the past I have struggled with focus, because I want to do so much right away. I hope that as I grow and mature, I will better learn to focus on one goal at a time and balance the professional with cultivating personal strength. Though perhaps the word "feminine" does not apply to me as a genderqueer person, I believe that the kind of wisdom Straub describes can apply to anyone, especially those who are oppressed or marginalized due to their gender. I have found that self-care and time to connect self with the wider world are crucial to staying healthy and committed to activism.
My vision for my community is growing acceptance over time. Though it is hard now to envision a time without abuse of transgender people in prison, jail sentences for men who have sex with men, shaming and stigmatization of third gender people of all cultural iterations, etc., I believe that it is important to work towards a goal that is hard to imagine. I hope that we can harness our own creativity as people who have to spend time thinking about our own genders and sexualities and apply that to our struggle for justice worldwide. I believe that we can be idea-leaders, as those that go through these struggles and have a unique perspective in this area. However, so many of us are discouraged and beaten down by an oppressive system. I hope that the most powerful and wealthy among us will lend support to the most marginalized, and I hope to be a catalyst for this--helping privileged white gay Americans, for example, see the importance of funding work that helps transgender people of color.
My vision for the world is one of understanding for all genders and sexualities. It is a feminist vision based not on simple equality of men and women, but on the uprooting of patriarchy worldwide in favor of a more egalitarian system that does not use gender to divide and conquer. I believe that as we dismantle patriarchy, we will necessarily dismantle other harms, such as war, poverty, racism, and slavery. These horrors depend on a patriarchal understanding of the world, and this is not the only understanding available. Individuals and groups are already doing work in this direction, and I hope to be involved in a movement that includes queer people in these changes, helping feminists to recognize that it is impossible to be a feminist and oppress transgender people, for example, or mock a man who has feminine traits. I believe that over time this world will improve, and become more accepting of all its citizens.
Voices of Our Future can help me achieve my personal, community, and world visions through support and empowerment as an activist and citizen journalist. One of my biggest barriers, as I discussed earlier, is isolation. I am excited about the idea of a Vision Mentor who can keep me on target as I work towards these goals and provide the wisdom of someone more experienced in leadership and activism. I also believe that all the professional development offered will lend me not only skills and a platform but greater confidence and excitement in working on my goals. It can be difficult to sit down and do this work after a 12-13 hour day, but I am committed to doing it and would embrace the support that this program can offer. I also believe that having a greater platform would help me to make more connections, so that I can not only engage with my community but also make steps towards achieving my vision for the world. It is crucial that I work with others to raise awareness of queer feminism and queer communities, and I think this is an area where WorldPulse could be very helpful.
Take action! This post was submitted in response to Voices of Our Future Application: Your Vision.