Joey Mogul, if you didn’t know, is the author (well, along with Andrea Ritchie and Kay Whitlock) of the new book Queer (In)Justice, about which I will blog once I have finished it. She is also an adjunct professor for DePaul University College of Law’s Civil Rights Clinic and an attorney for the People’s Law Office. In short, Joey Mogul is awesome.
I spent roughly ten hours today at the Chicago-Kent Lambdas 2011 LGBT Civil Rights Conference. The absolute highlight (well, along with Owen’s part of the Transgender Rights panel about trans prisoners’ rights and drinking wine with a few awesome people at the following reception) was the panel “Policing, Prosecution, and Punishment of LGBTQ People” with Joey Mogul, Owen Daniel-McCarter, and Avi Rudnick*. It. Was. So. Fierce. Seriously — an acquaintance later mentioned that the conference could have just been the three of them; I would absolutely go to a conference presented by the three of them, no matter how long, no matter what the topic. They are so incredible.
Y’all know that I think Owen is amazing. Avi is also awesome, but since there isn’t as much information about him available online, I haven’t posted about him. I’ve also recently discovered that Joey Mogul is pretty incredible. She does really amazing work in Chicago; she co-wrote a brilliant book; she’s a fantastic speaker. Together, the three of them were like some kind of dream team. They worked really well together, and they brought a much-needed breath of fresh air, so to speak, to the conference.
So many LGBT organizations and speakers focus almost exclusively on topics like gay marriage (or civil unions) and DADT. The Dream Team (because that’s what I’m going to call them until they ask me to stop) focused on issues that affect a broader LGBTQ community (people of color, transfolk, low-income people, people targeted by the criminal legal system). They brought a critical analysis of systemic oppression, instead of focusing on individuals’ actions as though they occurred in a vacuum, and they centered the experiences of people who are the most marginalized in the LGBTQ community (instead of centering the experiences of the most privileged). It was a great topic, and they were absolutely the right people to present.
The Dream Team’s panel made the conference fantastic. Moreover, it was really excellent to be in the presence of such fierce, intelligent activists — people who were incredibly knowledgable about their subject yet also completely real and direct about their own privilege. It was an amazing experience. If more attorneys were like Owen Daniel-McCarter, Avi Rudnick, and Joey Mogul, the world could only be a better, more beautiful place.
*I try really, really hard not to post about people I know — well, I try not to use their names; I suppose what I should say is that I try to not invade people’s privacy — but since that’s completely on the internet, I feel as though it’s okay. If anyone (namely Joey, Owen, or Avi) objects to anything, please let me know. I’m really not trying to make trouble for anyone: honestly, I just think you’re awesome. Love, Ryan.