Meet Taylor Blackmere
LGBTQ advocacy has been a strong focus in Alex’s academic studies and work as a student leader.
As a political science student at McGill University, many of Alexander’s research projects were concerned with the discrimination faced by the LGBTQ community. One of these examined the use of anti-gay legislation in Uganda. Alexander argued this should be understood as an effort to demonize a marginalized community under false, supposedly-religiously based pretences as a tool of social control. This, when translated to other contexts, highlights the danger faced by real individuals when political actors leverage morality for their own causes. More recently, for a course on religion and human rights, Alex wrote about the need to ensure that primary and secondary public education in the United States is not dominated by any particular religious tradition. This is intended to create more tolerant students and to prevent violent discrimination, which often surfaces due to long-held biases learned at a young age.
Alex represented the LGBTQ community in his various student leadership positions. As a member of the Senate, McGill’s highest academic governing body, chaired by the Principal & Vice-Chancellor, Alex sat on the Subcommittee for Queer Equity. During this time, Alex advocated strongly for improved efforts towards employment equity for designated groups, including LGBTQ individuals, at the university. This involved committee work, outreach with students including newspaper and radio interviews, and the organization of a well-attended panel on diversity in academia. Alex was also the co-author of an official question to Senate on their preferred name policy and lack of reaction to troubling Student Diversity Survey results.
Alex looks forward to continuing to serve the LGBTQ community when he begins his studies in the Faculty of Law at the University of Victoria.