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Name: Marten Verheij
Age: 20
Programme: Future Planet Studies (UvA)
Minor: Gender and Sexuality (UvA)

My degree programme and minor both push boundaries

'At first glance, it might seem like there's no connection between the minor I have chosen and Future Planet Studies. All the same, I do feel there is one myself. My degree programme is about the future of our world and sustainability. My chosen specialisation mainly looks at the role played by politics in this. And of course international thinking is important here. Take Africa, for example. Although they only make a very small contribution to greenhouse gas emissions themselves, they are paying the highest price for problems caused by the rich countries. And this is where the knowledge I gained during my minor in Gender and Sexuality comes in handy, because environmental racism is an important concept in the sustainability movement. Specific groups, in this case people of colour, are hit harder than other groups.

Emancipation, sexuality, feminism: I’ve been thinking about all these themes for a long time. And this may also have something to do with my own sexual orientation. I am gay - as a result, I experience first-hand what non-heterosexuals face in our society. I think it's important to find out more about this, which is why I chose this minor. Subjects such as being non-binary and transgender were also addressed for example. It was incredibly interesting. Students who felt the need to talk about their own sexual identity could tell their story here. In this regard, the tutorials really felt like a safe space.

My choice of minor certainly worked out well for me. All the same, I did wonder which way to turn for a while, as so many options are available. What helped me was to think very carefully about what ties in with my experience. Not only does this subject really suit me, to a certain extent it is also about me. Conversely, I will soon be able to incorporate this personal experience into my field of expertise, a very nice interplay between the two.'