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Pride Month Q&A Spotlight Series: Nasim Paknejad

In celebration of Pride Month, we are excited to introduce McMaster EngiQueers execs to our community.

Name: Nasim Paknejad

Pronouns: She/They

Department: B.Tech Biotechnology [4th year]

What does Pride Month mean to you? 

Pride Month is a time to celebrate all the advancements the queer community has made and to acknowledge that we have a long way to go before we are accepted and treated as equals. Though we can celebrate legalized gay marriage and the lifted restrictions on blood donations from MLM men, we cannot ignore the hundreds of deaths of people in the trans community, and the lack of basic human rights for members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community all over the world. This is a month to reflect on where we have started, where we are, and what we need to do to create the future we want. 

How are you planning to celebrate Pride this year? 

This year, I will happily be marching in the Toronto Pride Parade with EngiQueers! It has been 3 years since we were able to march, and I am so excited to be planning the march alongside co-president, Mymoon Bhuiyan. In addition, I will be donating money to organizations that help queer youth including The Trevor Project and Rainbow Railroad. I recommend anyone reading this to do their research and also donate to organizations supporting the queer community. 

What motivates you to work hard? 

The thought of helping someone first-hand keeps me going. Especially with the stress of currently juggling a co-op, a course, and responsibilities in two clubs, being an approachable face in the McMaster community makes me feel as though my job has been done, and that I have made at least one person feel a little bit better in their day-to-day lives.

Why is a club like EngiQueers important? What impact does this have? 

Our club is crucial within engineering to provide a safe community space for fellow queer engineering students. We provide support, resources, and friendly conversation for anyone who joins and interacts with our social media platforms. It is a place for students to vent, reach out for help, make new friends and be themselves. This is what EngiQueers is about. We are very proud of the safe space we have spent over a year creating and fine-tuning. We think it is a very important part of the engineering faculty and community that will make the McMaster University experience more enjoyable.