Rainbow Research – Pride Month 2021

With Pride Month celebrations more difficult this year due to the pandemic, we are celebrating online!

Our journals are publishing Rainbow Research, a series of blog posts which aims to promote visibility of researchers from the LGBTQ+ community. Each post, published throughout the month of June, follows a theme represented by the colours shown in the Progress Pride flag.

Natalie Yoh: Nature

“There needs to be clear guidelines to ensure LGBTQ+ researchers have effective risk assessments and know what structures are in place to support them should they come into legal difficulties. This should become a standard part of the risk assessment process, not something the researcher has to bring to the university’s attention.”

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Numair Masud: Nature

“Biologists are in a unique position to defend the vitriol that still exists towards the LGBTQ+ community.

We dedicate our lives to understanding nature’s ways and therefore are in a privileged position to offer understanding and knowledge, the power of which we cannot underestimate.”

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Justin Stewart: Nature

“Pride for me is not partying or the commercialization of the queer experience. It is the community supporting itself and in doing so celebrating the individual diversity of all queer people. This fits back into why I love nature, as there are so many beautiful things to celebrate, and pride is just another time to do the same.”

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Danielle Orrell: Sunlight

“I asked to write for the yellow, or “sunlight,” section of the Progress Pride flag, as I feel empowered by my time on the sunny volcanic island of Ascension.

“I have found that in an academic setting, having a solid foundation of self-confidence and self-worth has been vital in staying grounded even when targets are not met and experiments fail.”

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Adrian Monthony: Harmony

“I think visibility of queer researchers is incredibly important and, from my experience, is sorely missing in my field. It is precisely the invisibility of other queer researchers in plant science that I would like to see change. To use a plant metaphor, it is hard to be a daffodil in a field of tulips.”

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Jill Syrotchen: Harmony

“I am especially grateful to both my partner and my advisor for encouraging me to diversify and find harmony among all of my interests.”

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Cyren Wong: LGBTQ2S, Indigenous Peoples & People of Colour

“By appreciating the mechanisms of nature I understood my place in the world, and in coming to this realization, I found a new sense of direction and purpose. It was then that I decided to dedicate myself and my life’s work towards the study and protection of the natural world.”

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Daniel Trotter: Transgender Pride

“There are so many under-discussed barriers that made taking the step of transitioning while planning STEM daunting. Things like name changes on publications, knowing some collaborators and colleagues may reject you if they learn about your gender, and weighing the risks of attending or forgoing conferences in locations where it isn’t safe for people like me.”

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Keep an eye out for more posts throughout the month. Thank you to our brilliant contributors, and if you would like to participate yourself, please get in touch!