“Empowerment through Authenticity”
Guided by this philosophy and the lifelong belief that words have power, Christen Reighter uses critical essays and public speaking as her tools for exposing and confronting injustice. She works to raise awareness and incite social progress with the goal that
every person can live
authentically to who they are,
without shame or conditions.
This intention is evident in her vocal advocacy for childfree women, like herself. She uses her personal experience of resisting social pressure and medical paternalism to obtain surgical sterilization as an example of our society’s deeply-rooted gender roles to encourage reflection upon all the many roles placed on us and the limitations they impose.
Women’s rights activism influences much of her work which denounces rape culture by exposing the institutionalized oppression down to the subtle microaggressions that perpetuate its existence—calling, instead, for the empowerment of women, through such themes as sex-positivity and self-definition.
Not limited by her passion for gender equality, Christen also works to denounce racism, LGBTQIA+ discrimination, and the stigmatization of psychological disorders.
Influenced by her training in clinical mental health counseling, her work often connects individual wellness with societal implications, all through an empathetic lens that reminds readers of the immense potential we each have to create change, and exponentially so when we are united in community.
Her essays have been published on Huffington Post and Offbeat Home & Life, and was a featured guest interviewed live on a January 2018 episode of WNPR’s ‘Where We Live’ entitled ‘No Kids, No Problem: An Exploration Of The Childfree Choice.’ She is best known for her worldwide-watched TEDxTalk: “My Choice to Live Child-Free,” presented at TEDxMileHighWomen: ‘It’s About Time’ in October 2016—subsequently featured by TED.com in 2017, reintroduced as “I Don’t Want Children—Stop Telling Me I’ll Change My Mind.”
In her youth, she was an active member of a local writer’s organization, Panhandle Professional Writers, winning multiple awards for poetry and short story in the contest held at its annual ‘Frontiers in Writing’ conference. She was a staff editor on her high school’s first literary magazine publication. Primarily, though, she devoted her time and talents to the craft of performance poetry, traveling across the country featuring in art events and competing in poetry slams, including the 2008 Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival in Washington, D.C., as seen on the documentary series: HBO Presents Brave New Voices.
Today, she continues to give academic and community talks raising awareness for the Childfree Choice, the implications of unassessed societal roles, and the institutional and societal obstacles hindering medical freedom & patient autonomy under our current systems—all the while championing the idea that beneath all the obstacles exists a strong, compassionate community capable of recognizing our systemic shortfalls and instituting change that considers and cares for the rights and well-being of all.
Originally born and raised in the Texas panhandle, she now happily resides in beautiful Colorado (with her partner and their three cats: Navi, Mewzer, & Mojave), where she is working on finishing her master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Her hobbies outside of studying mental health and researching further global childfree facts and resources include reading and kickboxing.