Queer in STEM in Chemical Engineering News

The latest issue of Chemical Engineering News has an in-depth article about LGBTQ experiences in chemistry careers, particularly focusing on individual people’s stories.

Nine months pregnant, Kyle F. Trenshaw recently grappled with what to wear to a job interview. “Here I am, trans dude, super pregnant, and they want me to come in for a job interview,” says Trenshaw, a postdoc in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education at Brown University who is in the process of transitioning from female to male.
“I was like, ‘What the heck do I wear?’ ” He opted for a button-down shirt, elastic waist khaki pants, nice shoes, and a tie.

Queer in STEM’s resident chemist, Daniel Cruz-Ramirez de Arellano, is quoted summing up our wishes for the project: “Hopefully, the newer generation can feel inspired and say, ‘There is a place for me in STEM even though I am queer.’ ”

Go read the whole article, and if you haven’t taken our new survey and sent it to all your queer and straight colleagues, hurry up and do it! We’re still taking responses, but sampling will conclude by the end of next month.

Queer in STEM in Wired

In a great new article for Wired Magazine, Sarah Scoles covers the history of Queer in STEM and our new survey. Scoles talked to Allison, Joey, Daniel, and Jeremy, as well as other LGBTQ scientists including Alex Bond and LGBT STEM creator Elizabeth Hellen, for some great detail of queer experiences in science.

If you haven’t been a queer person, you might be asking yourself why this survey is necessary. “It’s 2016. Get over it already,” you may be thinking. “I love everyone and am rainbow-blind. Also, some of my best friends are gay.” It’s true that there’s less overt discrimination than in the past. But in 28 states, it’s still legal for employers to discriminate against someone for their sexual or gender identity.

Even if that’s unlikely to happen (especially at universities, which often have their own anti-discrimination policies), the stress of wondering what your colleagues think of your sexual or gender identity—and of having to “come out” about them at all—is real. Sometimes, especially at work, that disclosure comes as a correction to an incorrect assumption.

“Do you want to invite your boyfriend to happy hour?” “Um, actually…”

“Can we have your wife’s number for the emergency call list?” “Um, actually…”

Even if you’re out and proud, it’s not easy.


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