Conversation with Juniper Xiomara Goff on UC Berkeley Campus, Berkeley, California
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On Monday, September 26, 2014, I had the pleasure and honor to sit down with Transfeminist Activist Juniper Xiomara Goff on the University of California, Berkeley campus. Juniper and I have been friends for the past two years and have collaborated on many projects to advocate for transgender equality and equity. It was a gorgeous day on campus and we put it all on the table. We discussed topics from CA state law, AB 1266, gender neutral restrooms, The California State Truth Council, hot political topics (yes, the Bern), being "othered", rising up, and being an ally.
In the beginning of the conversation, Juniper, discusses how she was able to play on the cis gender women's softball team at her high school thanks to AB 1266. This catapulted Juniper into the spotlight at a very young age on a statewide level. She has used her voice to advocate for transgender equality ever since. She has bravely navigated cis gender spaces to live as her authentic and true self.
Juniper was very instrumental at our Los Medanos College Elevating Diversity event where NY Times Best Selling Author, Janet Mock, sat down for a moderated one-on-on conversation. Juniper gave a fantastic and moving speech on why gender-neutral restrooms are needed on California Community College campuses.
She continues to assist in advocacy work with the California Truth Council for transgender youth. Juniper is currently attending the University of California: Berkley and she is majoring in Political Science. She has become a very powerful voice in the Transgender community and is dedicating herself to a lifetime of leadership. Perhaps she will be our first Transgender President of the United States of America in 2032!
Like many millennials, Juniper felt the Burn and supported Senator Bernie Sanders bid for President of the United States. Even though he lost, she hopes the political revolution to hold politicians accountable continues after the November elections.
In order to have a political revolution there must be a "rising up" of the people. Juniper and I discuss the political philosophies of Dr. Martin Luther King juxtapose Malcolm X. Moreover, we discuss the civil discourse of the LGBT community at the Stonewall riots and most recent civil discourse of the Black Lives Matter organization.
We continued our conversation on the subject of "allies." What does the framework look like to be an ally to a marginalized minority community? We discuss whether marginalized minority communities need allies to liberate the community, and the expectations for being an ally to a group in which you do not belong to.
We ended our conversation talking about Juniper's future advocacy work. She will be launching a blog on October 4, 2016. Be on the lookout for her blog. Lastly, we played a fun rapid-fire game with photos to get to know Juniper better.
I would like to personally thank Juniper Xiomara Goff for her time and I hope you enjoy our conversation.