Since moving to the United States, I have played an active role in a number of social justice campaigns. I was a co-founding editor of the Occupied Washington Times / DC Mic Check, a newspaper of the Occupy movement. In this role, I additionally ran regular workshops at the “DC Free School,” addressing community and investigative journalism. I later co-founded, and continue to contribute to, the LGBT Freedom & Asylum Network, an information hub for LGBTQ asylum seekers and their advocates. I also support affiliated organizations in their service and work, through research, writing and film projects. More recently, I helped organize and promote No Justice No Pride activities, focused on addressing pinkwashing and harmful practices perpetuated by Capitol Pride sponsors and affiliates.
In my long-standing role as Contributing Editor for Red Pepper Magazine (2008—present) I write predominantly on social movements, immigration policy, and film. I also provide mentorship to emerging writers, particularly seeking out voices that have been historically underrepresented in journalism.
These activities build on my earlier engagements in social justice activism. As an undergraduate at the University of Manchester, the largest public campus-based university in the United Kingdom, I served consecutive terms on the Students’ Union Council, including as the popularly elected Welfare Secretary. In these roles, I helped establish gender neutral bathrooms on campus, taught sexual health education, and served as a peer councilor for Nightline, among other activities. I also ran the Open Media social issue documentary screening weekly series for two years, 2006-2008, and worked on the Editorial Collective of the Manchester Mule (recently relaunched as The Meteor), an alternative newspaper covering local issues from a leftist perspective.
I regularly contribute to research projects, and occasionally run workshops, lectures, and seminars for non-academic audiences on a range of topics, including: LGBTQ+ identities and experiences; the politics and practices of asylum adjudication; global sexualities and cross-cultural understanding; media literacy and critical discourse analysis; research methods for investigative journalists; storytelling through theatre, photography and film, and documentary filmmaking for social justice.
Organizations I have worked with include:
- UNHCR, US Office (Consultant for project: White Paper on ATD for LGBTQ Immigrants in Detention)
- National Domestic Workers Alliance
- The National LGBTQ Taskforce (Lead author for project: Stronger Together best practices to working with LGBT asylum seekers)
- Lee & Low Books
- Occupy The Vote
- Musika (UK)
- The Trans Resource Empowerment Center (UK)
- Queer Up North International Arts Festival (UK)