Over the years, Dr. Catherine Taylor has become the University of Winnipeg’s (U of W) resident expert when it comes to LGBTQ+ issues and advocacy.
Taylor took a job at the U of W in 1988, or as she puts it, the dawn of time.
“They were starting up this really innovative, exciting writing program,” Taylor says. Originally from Ontario, where she grew up and taught for some time at Trent University, Taylor says Winnipeg is now home.
Those who’ve taken her classes have seen her combined passion for language and LGBTQ+ topics, though it might be surprising to learn that Taylor actually comes from a systems analysis background. That foundation led to her extensive research on transgender, Two-Spirit and LGBTQ+ people throughout the province and country.
“My heart was really solidly in the world of language,” Taylor recalls. “I had to decide how I was going to live my life as a researcher, and whether I would forsake my beloved world of literature and language for more of a world of social justice-motivated social science, and I did. And it’s been the most wonderful decision I’ve ever made.”
What was the last book you read?: The book I’ve loved the best that I read in the last year was All the Light We Cannot See. It’s just a gorgeous book.
What was your worst grade in university?: A C+ on my first English essay. I was fresh out of high school with 98 per cent and 100 per cent in my two … English courses … I was a little worried about classical history, but I was totally down with Shakespeare … I was a little horrified.
What is something you’ve learned from your students?: I’ve learned to be continually surprised and delighted by the depth of intelligence and passion that 20-year-olds bring to their lives. It’s an inspiration to me.