Undergraduate Feminist Trailblazer Awards 2022 – Jaime Llorente Prada, 2nd Prize

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This year, GENDER.ED and the Edinburgh University Students Association (EUSA) came together for the launch of the Undergraduate Feminist Trailblazers Awards and Blog Series. The Awards seek to recognise and celebrate the contribution of undergraduate students from the University of Edinburgh who are furthering the cause of feminism through important and impactful work. This year, the judges were GENDER.ED Steering Group member and ‘Understanding Gender in the Contemporary World’ course convenor, Dr Meryl Kenny, EUSA Vice President Education, Tara Gold and GENDER.ED’s Interim Director, Dr Radhika Govinda.

The second-place winner for this year’s Undergraduate Feminist Trailblazers Awards is Jaime Llorente Prada, a 3rd year International Relations and International Law student at the University of Edinburgh. The judges noted how Jaime is ‘an inspiring advocate for feminist principles and a dedicated and passionate voice for gender justice’, particularly in their role as Trans and Non-Binary Liberation Officer. As Liberation Officer, Jaime established the Gender Empowerment Fund, which provides self-identifying trans and non-binary students with gender-affirming items, regardless of their financial capabilities. This fund has been vital in expanding the resources available to marginalised students at the university, and is a real show of Jaime’s commitment to supporting people from all genders. On top of this, Jaime has organised and contributed to key events for the student community, including this year’s Trans Day of Remembrance Vigil and protests against the University’s response to sexual assault; they are instrumental in advocating for students and fighting for gender justice on campus. The judges also commended Jaime for the link between their advocacy work and academic research into gender-based violence and global security. Overall, Jaime is committed to furthering the cause of feminism through their fierce dedication to intersectionality and to the queer community at the University of Edinburgh and beyond.


 Here’s what Jaime had to say in response to some questions posed to them by GENDER.ED’s Undergraduate Communications and Events intern, Lauren Galligan:


What motivates you in your work to further the cause of feminism?

My dedication to feminism emanates from a place of resilience. As marginalised gender identities, we have been forced to pick our battles and prioritise survival. We have been silenced, overlooked and underrepresented. Trans women of colour have taught me that it is our right to move beyond conformism and pursue liberation. Having these women in my life is what motivates me to find power in my own gender and explore new highs for feminism.


What would be your advice to other students and non-students wanting to get involved in similar work to you?

Be patient, but do not be complacent. We have been excluded from conversations concerning our wellbeing for too long, so every time you walk into a room, reclaim your space. Your voice echoes those who weren’t heard once, so do not hesitate to speak up.Also, be caring to the people you work with and surround yourself with people who will be by your side every step of the way. There will be times when you might get overwhelmed and need some help. That is alright. There will always be people around you who want you to succeed, and that will remind you why your voice matters.


Who else, outside of yourself, do you consider an inspirational ‘Feminist Trailblazer’, and why?

My work, like most people of my generation devoted to gender studies, has been heavily influenced by Judith Butler’s musings. I vividly remember the first time I picked up Gender Trouble. The touch with which Butler celebrated the power that sources from one’s gender elevated contemporary feminism to a place that consolidated the inclusion of queerness and performativity in gender studies. They are the reason why so many of us feel inspired to give back to our communities and further the cause of feminism.


This is the second blog post in our series profiling the winners of the Undergraduate Feminist Trailblazer Awards 2021-2022, organised by GENDER.ED and EUSA. Look out for four more blog posts in this series!