BA, Women’s and Gender Studies, Dartmouth College (2015)


Lyra McKee is a second year Master’s student who grew up in Texas. She is a white settler whose research interests include transgender studies, critical race theory, political philosophy, queer theory, and qualitative geography. Lyra works as both a teaching assistant at GRSJ and as a research assistant for the Stigma and Resilience Among Vulnerable Youth Centre at the UBC School of Nursing. She also adores the performing arts and enjoys singing, dancing, and acting. While she is considering applying for law school and/or PhD programs in the future, Lyra eagerly looks forward to taking some time away from academia after graduating from GRSJ.


My thesis consists mainly of a theoretical intervention into transgender studies and a synthesis of existing critiques of structural oppression. Drawing on Andrea Smith’s “Heteropatriarchy and the Three Pillars of White Supremacy” (2006), I argue that three subsets of white supremacy include anti-blackness, xenophobia, and settler colonialism. In the United States, these subsets manifest themselves in the prison industrial complex, immigrations enforcement, and the Native reservation system, respectively. In addition, I argue that these three systems necessitate and instantiate cisgenderism, or the privileging of non-trans subjectivities.

Selected Publications

“Living Through Transition.” Presented 09 September 2016 at the University of Arizona for Trans*Studies 2016

“Geographies of Homonormativity: The Complicity of Queer Spaces.” Presented 06 February 2016 at the University of British Columbia for QueerU 2016

Ezekiel Webber Memorial Award for Queer Activism 2015 (Dartmouth College)
Sir Qwo-Wei Lee Fellowship 2016 (St. John’s)