When Jeremy LaMaster moved to Baltimore a year and a half ago, he sought out gay life on day one. His husband, Santiago Alvarez, was starting a post-doc fellowship in allergy and immunology at Johns Hopkins and LaMaster was able to find work soon thereafter.
He works as a research program manager for an HIV cohort study at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and volunteers with LGBTQ Life at JHU, headed by Demere Woolway.
On Saturday, the student group will hold a “Queer Takeover” at the John Waters exhibit “Indecent Exposure” at the Baltimore Museum of Art (10 Art Museum Dr., Baltimore) from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Tickets for Johns Hopkins students will be distributed on a first-come-first-served basis in the lobby at 10:45 a.m. Look up the event on Facebook for full details or visit studentaffairs.jhu/edu/lgbtq.
At one of the group’s recent events, there was discussion of the limits of meeting other queer folks and networking outside the bar scene. The idea for a museum trip was brought up.
“Since the BMA is currently running a John Waters exhibit, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to create an event that allows LGBTQ youth to socialize … while also engaging with a bit of local Baltimore queer history,” the 30-year-old Louisville, Ky., native says.
LaMaster says the event has “taken on a life of its own” and more queer takeover events will be planned.
LaMaster is full-time on staff but is also enrolled in a part-time MBA program at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. He’s studying organizational leadership and wants to explore different opportunities after seven years in academia. He would like to eventually do management and consulting work in the public and non-profit sectors.
LaMaster and Alvarez live in Baltimore’s Canton neighborhood. LeMaster enjoys video games, spending time with friends and napping in his free time.
How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell?
Nine years and the hardest person to tell was myself. I grew up very devoted to Catholicism and it was very challenging to get to the place I am now.
Who’s your LGBT hero?
Audre Lorde. As someone who identified as capital “B” black and capital “L” lesbian, her book “Sister Outsider” was my first introduction to LGBTQ identity as an intersectional and socio-political identity.
What’s Baltimore’s best nightspot, past or present?
When I first moved here, the Baltimore Eagle was one of my favorite spots; it sort of was a sampling of different styles of gay bars rolled into one. Unfortunately it has since closed.
Describe your dream wedding.
Just five people: me, my partner, two witnesses and an officiator on some seaside cliffs somewhere.
What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about?
Anti-black racism, even though I would argue it is an LGBT issue.
What historical outcome would you change?
The genocide of Native Americans — such a devastating loss of culture due to white settler colonialism.
What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime?
Beyonce’s first surprise visual album.
On what do you insist?
A seat at the table for all stakeholders.
What was your last Facebook post or Tweet?
A meme about Tumblr’s new anti-nudity policy.
If your life were a book, what would the title be?
“Screw(ed): an Odyssey”
If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would you do?
Encourage and advocate for straight people to be LGBTQ.
What do you believe in beyond the physical world?
Pantheism — that everything is somehow connected.
What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders?
Focus on inter-generational work; educate and learn from our LGBTQ youth.
What would you walk across hot coals for?
I am a very food-motivated person.
What LGBT stereotype annoys you most?
That we’re immature.
What’s your favorite LGBT movie?
“Ma Vie En Rose”
What’s the most overrated social custom?
Asking “what do you do?” when you first meet someone.
What trophy or prize do you most covet?
A Pulitzer Prize in writing (even though I don’t write).
What do you wish you’d known at 18?
That I was queer. I feel like I missed a lot by trying to be straight.
Work! Johns Hopkins is what brought us.