Watch Emilia’s TEDx Talk – Should we end marriage?

Dr. Emilia Roig – Photo Credit: Sebastian Gabsch

What’s your current occupation?
My days are filled with writing, reading and speaking, mostly about the many forms of injustice our society faces, and about what the future could look like. The main topics I’m covering are intersectionality, oppression, racism, feminism, LGBTQI+ rights and climate justice. I also give workshops and talks at various events in Germany and internationally.

Where are you currently living (city & country)?
Berlin, in Germany. 

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I like to look at the hidden parts of the world. The parts that threaten the single story that is being told about our reality. Looking at the hidden parts means that I have to be digging for more and never get satisfied with what is being shown on the surface. I hate superficiality and I love depth, in all aspects of my existence. 

What do you connect with our theme “Bold Choices”?
I connect bold choices with courage and authenticity, two of the most important values for me. If you go through life being courageous and authentic, chances are you will lead a truthful, meaningful life. It’s not going to be easy, but it will be worth it. Your courage and authenticity will feel threatening to some people, but they will be inspiring and infectious to others. 

What is the boldest choice you’ve ever made in your life? – And why was this your boldest choice?
The boldest choice I’ve made was to leave my husband to live my queer life. It was bold because it meant going against my family’s and societal expectations and trusting a future that did not exist yet. It was about breaking with the identity and life choices that had been imposed upon myself and letting the real me emerge. Any birth process is painful, and so was this one, too. But a life without pain is a life spent in avoidance, not connecting to our true voice and true self. I made the decision to embark on the journey to meet myself, and it has been the best choice I’ve made so far. 

How do you choose which choice to make if you’re in doubt?
I have learnt to trust my guts, to listen to my body and follow the answer. It’s not easy to discern who is speaking, whether it’s my brain, my heart or my gut, but with time, you learn. Doubt is the part of our egos that is scared of change. Once we understand that the unknown has something to offer, that it can hold gifts, we can change our perspective and embrace the unknown as this exciting thing we’re looking forward to discover.  

What gives you the strength to make a bold choice?
Trusting that life is always conspiring in my favor and that there are no “bad” decisions in life. They are part of our path and our growth and process. 

Do you think people should be better at making bold choices? – If so, why?
Undoubtedly. Our society and culture trains us to be obedient, to submit to higher authorities and to not think and act for ourselves. We’re also taught to self-betray and to lie to ourselves about what we feel. People confuse acceptance with fatalism. So we lack the courage to say no, to rebel, to stand up for ourselves and others, and simply to tell the truth. I believe that more bold choices would make the world a better place.  

If you had to choose someone who, in your opinion, has made the most bold choice, who would it be and why? 
Irena Sendler, Rosa Parks, Angela David, Assata Shakur, Andrea Dworkin, Shulamith Firestone, Sophie Scholl. All these people showed incredible courage in the face of oppression, they resisted through bold actions, through powerful words and they overcame the fear they undoubtedly felt.