This blog post shall primarily be an honest and open piece focusing on idealism but also on the sad realization of reality and the annoying moment when someone tells you NO!
As a premise to this blog – I am currently writing this blog at 4.03am (insomniac), I have just watched three films (two of which I can recommend) and I had this sudden urge to announce what I shall dedicate my life to. I would like to say that I am very lucky to know what I want to do with my life and if you see me in 10 years working in some small corporate firm earning money just for the sake of earning money – Please feel free to shoot me!
I’m about to turn 21 – How can I possibly know what I want to do with myself you ask?
It’s because I’m honest enough to admit I’m idealistic, I often cite that I want to change the world which is often met with snorty derision and countless pairs of eyes taking a spin.
But when you think about it – would you really want to live in a world where people stopped wanting to change the world for the better?
If you go back do you really think that Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King or Mother Teresa honestly thought they’d be seen as International icons of equality and protectors of Civil Rights? OF COURSE NOT!
I would like to point out that in no way am I arrogant enough to consider myself anywhere near as brilliant and visionary as these legendary people but my point is….It Only Takes One Person! Why can’t it be you and we are in no way in a state of being where everyone is protected or equal.
Why the Hell Not? There is no criteria for people who change the world, or is there? I’m gonna quickly Google – Just Google’d and nope, still no criteria which you must meet before you are allowed to change the world so I’m still okay to continue my plans.
So what do you want to do?
The last time I read there still remains over 80 Countries (not sure if this is U.N or Commonwealth) and at least five countries where Homosexuality is Punishable by DEATH! I mean, in the 21st century you can still be killed if you’re a man who loves a man!
So I plan to dedicate to my life to Removing the Death Penalty in Countries where it is still punishable by Death!
I recently met a truly inspirational barrister at the 11th Annual Stonewall Lecture: From Silence To Safety: Protecting the gay refugee and the lecture was brilliant – it certainly helped me realize what I want to do – he does some amazing work protecting gay asylum seekers in this country which included the groundbreaking decision in HJ (Iran) and HT (Cameroon) v. Secretary of State for the Home Department. (Read the case)
Apparently, it is the second time of the supreme court (and i think including H of L) where the judgement was met with applause! (Little fun fact for you)
This case was revolutionary in changing the law – so if this man can change the law in this country – why can’t I change the law in other countries?
Before attending this lecture I read the No Going Back report also published by Stonewall which detailed the appalling treatment of gay refugees by the UK Border Agency so we are far from equal or free in this country? What’s worse, the treatment of LGBT people in these countries is often unseen, accepted by communities merely because of social attitudes and unjust laws.
Well I’m currently a second year LL.B student, so still have somewhere to go before being in a position to do this but I have a plan –
If all goes to plan, my dissertation will exactly be on this topic – gives me a great chance to further research the area and it actually counts towards my degree…Couldn’t think of a better thing to research tbh. I’ve found an internship with Asociación Entre Amigos working in their Anti-Homophobia Legal Clinic in which they promote better social attitudes, change policy and advance equality. I then hope to pursue the American Civil Liberties Union as an LGBT paralegal and subsequently apply to Columbia University for their Human Rights Masters Program, but I’ll need the LL.M fellowship to do this as I couldn’t really afford $75,000.
It’s then flying back to Home Soil where hopefully I can begin a career with the Human Rights Dignitary Trust and completing the BPTC part time, being called to the Bar and securing Pupillage.
And during my practice at the Bar, I hope to gain international jurisdiction to understand foreign legal systems and to hopefully protect people on a larger scale – It then becomes a matter of lobbying, changing social attitudes and changing the law.
And hopefully the day will come where Iran, Mauritania, Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen will renounce their death penalties.
Oh Don’t forget, I also wanna get married during all of this and raise children – Busy Busy Life indeed!
Wish me Luck!