Reed J. Williams is a writer, student and advocate for LGBTQ+ rights.

Why you should listen

Reed J. Williams has been advocating for LGBTQ+ rights since 2017, when she first began speaking about her own experience as a transgender person at her local children’s hospital. As a student at the University of Virginia, Williams advocated for greater access to trans-affirming housing accommodations and organized a gender-related outreach program with representatives from a local health center. She also works as a counselor at a summer camp for trans youth and reaches an audience of nearly 40,000 on TikTok.

Williams’s poetry about her experiences growing up transgender in the southern United States has been published in the anthology Beyond Queer Words as well as a number of student publications. She served as the Hampton Roads Youth Poet Laureate in 2020, representing the southeastern Virginia community at venues such as Hampton Roads Pride and the international spoken word poetry competition Brave New Voices. In April 2023, she served as a judge for the inaugural Virginia Youth Poet Laureate Finals.

Reed J. Williams’ TED talk

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Live from TEDWomen

Life, love and finding a path: Talks from day 2 of TEDWomen 2023

October 13, 2023

Day 2 of TEDWomen 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia featured an interdisciplinary array of ideas from speakers who are disrupting poverty, creating bold art, restoring Indigenous rights, exploring bioluminescence in nature and much more. The event: Sessions 2 and 3 of TEDWomen 2023, hosted by TEDWomen editorial director Pat Mitchell and activist, filmmaker and entrepreneur Maya […]

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