Rainbow Research – Happy Pride Month!
Following the success of last year’s Rainbow Research series, we have again invited contributions for a series of blog posts to celebrate Pride Month 2022. Read on to find out about the research and lives of a diversity of ecologists from across the LGBTQ+ community.
This series aims to promote visibility and inclusion of LGBTQ+ researchers with posts promoting them and their research. Each post is connected to a theme represented by one of the colours shown in the Progress Pride (a.k.a. Intersectional) Flag:
“It still feels lonely to be lonely as a queer man in plant sciences, but if life in the last year has showed me anything, it’s that visibility and pride can go a long way!”
“Being seen also helped me be surer of who I want to be in my own life. I will, in all likelihood, continue to have a career with a non-inconsequential amount of otherness to it. And that’s okay.”
“Even a simple step, like degendering a set of toilets at a conference or providing period supplies in every toilet (not just the ladies’), can go a long way towards signaling a safe environment for some of us.”
“I truly believe that by addressing equity holistically in the work we do within the STEM sector, we can help shape that society…We need to be passionate about promoting STEM to under-represented communities.”
“As a landscape ecologist, I apply my skills to research how ecosystems services are delivered in urban landscapes. This has a lot to do with my life story, bringing together my love for diverse nature and diverse people, so that everyone can feel safe and comfortable in large, global cities.”
“The world needs diverse ecologists who can work with different people to understand how to sustain nature for the environment and people, given the complexity of the modern world amidst a rapidly changing climate on planet Earth.”
“This group has offered queer students unified by a common interest in STEM a place to celebrate their identity and form relationships. In the future, I hope that others will find sunlight in their local community whether they are far from home, seeking chosen family or understanding their identity.”
“This is a note to all advisors out there who want to recruit more diverse students – have an active website that states your desire to recruit and support diverse students, as a lot of potential supervisors I looked into had no website or active social media, which ultimately dissuaded me from reaching out to them.”
“I was able to collate the workplace experiences of fifty-five ecologists who are currently, or who have previously been, employed in the ecology sector. The results were illuminating.”
“Studying the “simple” sea anemone with far more opsins than us forces us to question our self-centred idea of humans as the pinnacle of complexity. The humble, brainless sea anemone teaches us to drop our hubris and think about things from another perspective.”
“I chose the colour ‘blue’ of the Pride Flag, which stands for ‘harmony’ as the best reflection of me and my research. In the end, everything in life is about combining all of our diverse and competing needs in such a way that the whole system works.”
“It is fitting that for this Pride Month, which intersects with International Refugee Week, we consider some of the progress, challenges, and potential solutions faced by LGBTQ+ individuals….Higher education institutions can and should declare publicly that they will be institutions of sanctuary for those seeking it.”
“If we trace discipline-based education back to its roots, we find them inextricably intertwined with the roots of homophobia and transphobia. The common factor in all three is the colonial mindset of ‘divide and conquer’, which thrives on separation, imposed uniformity, rigid rules and boundaries, individualism, and linear thinking.”
“If I had the power to change the world, I would make it so we can all be as free as these birds, independent of who we are or who we love.”
“It’s likely that you’ve faced discrimination too and probably had a rubbish support network growing up. Know that communities out there exist and speaking up to the right person can help you, as it did for me.”
“Maybe that’s why studying ecology networks seems so interesting to me. I try to understand how the things out in the world connect and interact so I can use some of this knowledge to connect the nodes, understand a little more about myself as a non-binary trans, bisexual/panssexual person of colour.”
“We’ve also turned a new corner in the long, and at times winding, journey of BES LGBTQ+ advocacy and representation…to launch ALDER – Advancing LGBTQIA+ Diversity, Equality & Representation.”
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