Editor-in-Chief Madison Miszewski is a second year History student with interests in queerness, migration, and diplomacy.
[Image: Painting of a woman’s arms grasping a bouquet of pink, yellow, and white flowers.]
As 2018 winds down, it feels pertinent to write a short ‘letter from the editor’. I want to highlight that this year has been an incredible one around the world for marginalised genders – in every sense of the word. We’ve watched the global rise of the Me Too movement, the tipping of the gender-balances in governments around the world, the decriminalisation of queerness in some of the world’s most populous countries, and the global outreach towards refugee women and gender nonconforming people expand exponentially. It is easy to look back on our year and notice the tragedy that breaks international headlines on a daily basis. It is easy to focus on increased populism, corruption, and fear in many of our home countries. These are the issues that people of marginalised genders are disproportionately forced to deal with, they are not problems that we have the luxury to ignore. That’s not what I am asking you to do.
I’m asking you to add our progress to your yearly reflection. Look back upon our year learn what we did well, find what inspires and empowers you, and understand what from those reflections you want to take into 2019. Whether that inspiration comes from a new Congresswoman from the Bronx, a freed Palestinian girl, a Nigerian novelist, your coursemate, your mother, or your really cool seminar leader – hold it close to your heart.
As we enter a new year, I encourage you to find the through-line of our progress in 2019. I believe that through-line to be compassion. Our fight for equality begins and ends with the compassion with which we are willing to treat each other. The bloody eighth could never have been repealed in Ireland without the compassion of those who campaigned the hardest for it. Homosexuality could never have been decriminalised in India without the compassion Indian activists had for those suffering the most. The Argentine Green Tide could never have swept the South American continent without the compassion advocates showed to those who disagreed with their cause. At the root of change sits both the bravery to challenge the status quo, and the compassion we must have towards all people in opposition to that change.
What we have over those who seek to divide us is our compassion for one another. Make 2019 the year of compassion, where we seek to understand each other despite our differences – even when it is difficult to find compassion for those we so vehemently disagree with. Make 2019 the year we do the work to find common ground with those in opposition to our equality and lead them to the right side of history. With an understanding of the other through the lense of compassion, we will find a way to reunify what our leaders have divided.
So when making your resolutions, consider dedicating one to always leading with compassion. The world needs more young, marginalised voices. Be a unifying one.
Happy New Year,
Image credit: Painted by Jessica Watts as a part of her Wallflower series.