- Age: 29
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As we strive for equality and universal human rights, let us center those who have been most marginalized and open up platforms to amplify voices. We as a whole need to end historically oppressive institutions and provide necessary reparations to those impacted by these same institutions.
- Leo Cranney
Leo Cranney was born and raised in the United States. They are working toward a Bachelor of Arts in Politics, Economics, Policy, and Law at Mills College. As a Financial and Projects Assistant at Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, Leo owns discrete areas of responsibility in HR, Finance, Operations, and Tech, ensures the company upholds the highest standards of compliance in HR and Finance and continuously improves processes and procedures, and assists in implementing system efficiencies and improvements.
What ignited your pursuit for gender equality?
Reflecting on the past, there are several instances that made me realize the vast inequalities between the genders, and these instances are many-layered. I grew up in Southern Idaho in a strict Mormon household. As a young adult, I moved to California and came out as a queer woman. In this time, I experienced something that can only be described as hate and fetishization by the opposite gender. Now, later in my life, I have come out as a Transgender man and am still learning the complications and nuances that come with this specific identity. Each of these occurrences were their own experiences in gender inequality, and each one carries its own weight and importance in discourse. Because of, and regardless of, these various trials, I stand firm in my belief that change is imperative. We have taken vast strides, and we are now looking forward to the ground yet to be covered.
Please share your biggest wins as an advocate for gender equality.
In the Spring of 2019, I spearheaded a campaign on the Mills College campus that I unofficially titled “Some Men Use Tampons Too.” My journey with my own gender had led me to discover that no trash receptacles, other than compost, were provided in any of the men's restrooms. This is a considerable issue, as some folks who use these restrooms regularly generate trash that cannot be composted, i.e. menstruation products. After assembling with fellow students and staff, I wrote a brief but powerful letter to the college administration that spoke for all of us. Within two weeks of receiving this email from many folks on- and off-campus, we met the deadline that I had set, and trash receptacles were provided in the men’s restrooms before the end of the semester. The satisfaction of this specific service came in two parts for me. Firstly, I was able to identify the issue: an essential service that was not being provided for Trans and Gender Non-conforming (TGNC) people on campus, which I was then able to resolve by effecting change in campus policy. Secondly, I was shown through lived experience the necessity of relying on and organizing within your community.
Outside of your gender equality advocacy work, what do you enjoy doing?
I try to find spare time for reading outside of school. My favorites include the Lord of the Rings Series and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. I enjoy climbing, more specifically bouldering. I also enjoy lifting weights and biking through the bay. I recently taught myself embroidery and am now attempting to tackle the Rubik's Cube.
- English (Advanced/Native)
- lack of access to healthcare for trans, non-binary, gender non-conforming, and intersex individuals
- the importance of inclusive sexuality and gender options in the census
Past Awards, Certifications, or Fellowships:
- Highlander Research and Education Center Workshop
- Equality California Institute Leadership Academy Student Fellow
- Full Scholarship for PLEN Women in Global Policy Seminar
- Pi Sigma Alpha National Political Science Honor Society
- Academic Honors