Just Hanging Out With Hundreds of Academic Feminists

Last month I attended the International Feminist Journal of Politics (IFJP) conference for the first time. The theme this year was "Deconolozing Knowledges in Feminist World Politics" and it was hosted by the University of Cincinnati, just across the river from where I went to high school in Northern Kentucky.

As I was preparing my presentation it occured to me this would be the first time I would be attending a conference about international politics where the audience would be primiarily (if not exclusively!) made of feminists. This is a wonderful feeling! Roxanne Kristalli created a Storify of tweets from the weekend so be sure to scroll through to get a sense of some of the conversations and panels at the conference.

It was fantastic to have the opportunity to meet some of the feminist scholars who have so influenced my work, including V. Spike Peterson. I also really enjoyed the panel about a new book edited by Annick Weber, Researching War. The book will be a great teaching tool but also includes chapters where researchers reflect on challenges, mistakes made, and the responsibility that comes with being a feminist researcher engaged in projects researching war. I already snagged a copy!

My presentation was about a project I'm just starting regarding queer asylum seekers and I was able to get some very helpful and motivating feedback that I will be sure to channel as I continue writing over the summer.


Queerphobia in a Post Marriage Equality America

As a volunteer on the GLAD Answers hotline where we receve calls from LGBTQ individuals about various forms of discrimination it's all too clear to me how dangerous it is to make assumptions about the progress marriage equality marks in American history for LGBTQ communities. In my first piece for The Establishment I address the larger structures of inequality that remain unaddressed by the marriage equality and point to the many activists who have long spoken out about this topic.

For this story I spoke with the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Sylvia Rivera Law Project and Chase Strangio, Staff Attorney of the ACLU LGBT and HIV Project. I also included videos from DarkMatter, a trans south asian performance art duo I saw perform in Cambridge last month who rocked my damn world.

I also point out in this piece that we can't make any assumptinos about forms of queerphobia (transphobia, biphobia, lesbophobia, homophobia) being on the decline considering the lack of reliable hate-crime statistics dependent on reports from police departments, a place where many queer and trans people do not find it safe to report.

The story was cross-posted over at HuffPost Queer Voices where it was the lead story for a couple of days. People in the comment section on their Facebook page raised some interesting points including the queerphobia within the queer community against trans folks and the rise of hate crimes in general since 9/11.



Although I haven't read the book yet I learned that Gerald N. Rosenberg's book The Hollow Hope speaks to the concerns of using federal legal reform to make change. The narrative of progress from federal legislation in case after case is called into question in a way that appears to be holding true for queer and trans communities as well.

I anticipate more pieces in the coming months about America as a post marriage equality nation. I hope they will engage in some of the critical questions and concerns raised by activists who have long worked for racial and economic justice.


#WalkForChange (with Centaurs)

Hey folks,

This Sunday April 10th I'm participating in Boston Area Rape Crisis Center's #WalkForChange for the first time! I've heard about the walk for years and know about the amazing work that barcc does for folks in the Boston area and am psyched to participate this year.

I'm pleased to be a part of team Enthusaistic Consentaur along with Paulina Gonzales, Sarah Jane, Laleza Duarte, Same Marie, Maddie Howerd, Joewl Fishbein, Lila Natalie Goldsten and team leader Rosa Greenberg. Check out our fabulous mascot!


Here is a bit more about why I'm walking:

Boston Area Rape Crisis Center and the incredible free services they provide to survivors of sexual assault and their loved ones. I hope you will help me reach my goal by donating to this important cause today.

YOUR donations make it possible for BARCC to continue offering their incredible services FREE OF CHARGE to survivors, their families, and the community.

BARCC by the Numbers in 2015

  • 4,729 hotline calls
  • 418 survivors met at the hospital
  • 2, 864 individual counseling sessions
  • 222 group therapy sessions
  • 194 community events reaching 2,180 people
  • 891 sessions of legal help
  • 710 sessions with a case manager

You can make a donation to support my fundraising efforts here!

If you're unable to donate financially, please consider becoming a volunteer with barcc. As their website explains, "BARCC’s vision is to end sexual violence through healing and social change. When you become a BARCC volunteer, you take an active role in helping us to deliver on that promise. Our diverse group of volunteers comes from all age groups, levels of experience, and walks of life. But they share our commitment to supporting survivors, empowering communities, and ending sexual violence."

Thanks for taking the time to learn about what barcc does and how to support this crucial service for our community!





Queering women, peace & security

This month, on International Women’s Day, the journal of International Affairs published a Special Issue on The Futures of Women, Peace and Security. My piece Queering women, peace and security was part of this fantastic special issue.

Check out this podcast about Reintroducing Women, Peace and Security recorded at the launch of the journal including comments form co-editors Paul Kirby and Laura Shepherd along with contributors.

I joined a number of the other authors from this Special Issue in Atlanta at the annual convention of the International Studies Association on a roundtable where we each discussed the issues we raised in our pieces along with questions about the possibilities of the Women, peace and security architecture in general. (Will post the recording as soon as I get it!)

It’s an exciting time to be writing about queer security issues as Cynthia Weber’s book Queer International Relations just came out. I had the good fortune to attend the book launch at the New School where Weber told us it was, “The hardest book I ever had to write.” While at the launch Weber also talked about the importance of the book creating space in the field of international relations for a future where hiring someone with a background in Queer IR would be a possibility at which pointed I shouted in solidarity because this is the future I want to see!

This month I also successfully defended my dissertation proposal so I'm officially a doctoral candidate! My proposal builds on the ideas in my International Affairs article and I will begin doing interviews for the project this summer.


Sexual & Reproductive Health in Humanitarian Emergencies

This month I published a story for RH Reality Check about a new UNFPA report urging funding for sexual and reproductive health care services for women and girls in humanitarian emergencies. The piece focuses on the need for improved funding and research for abortion in refugee settings as well as the need to work with local communities in emergency preparedness and response.

For the story I interviewed Sandra Krause, director of Reproductive Health at the Women’s Refugee Commission, IAWG researcher Sarah Chynoweth and University of Massachusetts Boston economics professor Kade Finoff.

Click here for the full story.