To celebrate Pride Month this year, we sat down with some of your incoming Executive Officers, alongside your incoming LGBT+ and Trans Reps, to talk about what Pride means to them and how they'll be spending Pride this month! Next up, we have Taylor Golden, your incoming LGBT+ Rep for Mile End campus;
What does Pride mean to you?
'Pride' means being able to express myself without fear. It's more of a verb than a noun. I have to practice pride every day, through unlearning internalised homophobia and queerphobia, showing myself love and embracing all of the things that I've been shamed for.
What do you hope to achieve in the role this year?
I hope to effectively represent the LGBT+ community at Queen Mary. I want you to know you can get in contact with me any time, and I'll do my best to support you with any LGBT+ related issues that may arise.
Why did you decide to run for Student Council?
Since I started at Queen Mary, I've been an active part of the LGBT+ society. However, I never felt ready to run until now. I needed to mature, and to develop strength and identity. Going into my last year here, I want to make sure we are doing all we can to support our community, and to leave knowing that I did my best to ensure the continued success and prosperity of future LGBT+ students.
Obviously, this year, Pride looks a little different to what we usually see. Why do you think it is important we still celebrate and fight for equality, not just in June but all year round?
This Pride month, we've seen world leaders take actions to remove the few protections that trans people did have. During these three months of lockdown, we've all been separated from one another. This is especially hard on oppressed communities such as our own. The support systems that many of us rely upon are no longer accessible. We need to remain united, and keep fighting to support each other, now more than ever. We need to use our voices, especially those of us with privilege, and amplify the voices of those who are oppressed.
How will you be spending Pride month this year?
I'm trying to find ways to educate myself further, and support our community -- especially BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) members,
as we all fight to dismantle white supremacy and racism. It's especially important that our activism is intersectional, noting that black trans women especially are among the most vulnerable groups in society. Racism is a queer issue. Take some time to figure out how you can help.
What advice would you have for any incoming LGBT+ people who are starting at Queen Mary or Barts and The London this year?
Come to LGBT+ Society events! As many as you can, as soon as you can. One of the hardest things about university can be finding where you fit in, in a new environment. I've been at Queen Mary for three years, and I've made lifelong friends through our society. The committee works hard to put on events, especially during February for LGBT+ History Month. I'm excited to welcome all of you, alongside Robert Tucker (LGBT+ Rep. for Barts and The London), in September.