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Taylor Small

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Class of 2022 BEQ Pride LGBTQ Leader Under 40
(She, Her) is 27

What do you believe is your responsibility to this moment in history?

Our work, especially in state government, needs to refocus on collaboration and non-partisan debate that centers the impact of policies on our constituencies; and I believe it is my responsibility to continue to engage in the difficult, yet necessary conversations to help mend the polarization within our communities. As elected officials, we have the distinct responsibility to role model healthy conflict especially in times, like we are in now, where divisiveness takes center stage.

Taylor graduated from the University of Vermont in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in human development and family studies, and a minor in gender identity and sexuality studies. Taylor is committed to community building and youth empowerment, as seen through her previous work at the Howard Center, Spectrum Youth & Family Services, Northwestern Counseling and Support Services and as a board member at Outright Vermont. She has a clear passion and drive to support the larger LGBTQ+ community of Vermont and frequently puts on programming across the state to increase queer and trans visibility.

In her first year in office, TimeOut magazine recognized her as one of 11 women who have changed the world in 2021. Representative Small has a strong focus on health equity and access, including harm reduction, preventative care and holistic approaches to healthcare and wellness supports.

Taylor tasted political success when she introduced bill H128 to ban the LGBTQ ‘panic’ defense. The vote in favor of this legislation was unanimous in both chambers. Unanimous votes on potentially hot button legislation don’t happen very often. John Killacky, colleague and Vermont State Representative, says “she came in and in a very quiet way educated people… we all learned from her.”

Now enshrined into law as Act 18, Vermont, along with California, Illinois, Rhode Island, Nevada, Connecticut, Maine, Hawaii, New York, New Jersey, Washington, Colorado, Virginia, Oregon, and Maryland, has codified this important protection for victims of LGBTQ hate.

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