Jordyn Dezago

Jordyn Dezago, M.A. (Candidate) is currently pursuing a joint master’s degree in public administration and international education management at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. She has a B.A. in French and Comparative Literature from William Smith College. It was there that she took her first queer theory course and began her work in the field of gender equity education. She then spent two years in Taiwan, where she was exposed to progressive gender equity legislation and a rich LGBTQ+-positive culture. Her dream is to return to Taiwan and study the development and implementation of these policies, in order to further promote gender equity legislation in the U.S. Jordyn’s background in international education includes a year as a Fulbright grantee at the National University of Loja, Ecuador, as well as a teaching assistantship in Ajaccio, France and two years studying and teaching in Taiwan. Prior to pursuing her Master’s degrees, she coordinated community-based services for LGBTQ+ youth in Upstate New York.

Positionality. Jordyn identifies as a queer cisgender woman and acknowledges her privileges of whiteness, able-bodiedness as well as her heteronormative-passing and straight-bodied appearance. Her past work in gender equity has focused on youth development and education to address gender-based discrimination and violence. Jordyn approaches this research with a strong background in international education, having spent 6+ years living, studying and working outside the U.S. However, she is also aware of the implicit biases of her upbringing in a rural, predominantly white town in Upstate New York. Jordyn has a working proficiency in Spanish, French and Mandarin, however her first language is English, and the majority of this research was completed in English. Jordyn acknowledges the barriers faced by international students communicating in their second language, especially given the sensitive nature of this study. Jordyn’s motivations for this research are rooted in her experiences navigating foreign, patriarchal, and at times violent spaces as a single queer woman both inside and outside her home country, as well as the shared experiences of LGBTQ+ friends and loved ones.

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