Experiences The Science Life

The LGBTQ Community in STEM

It is the duty of anyone in the STEM field to encourage people from all walks of life to be open about who they are and join these STEM fields.


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Just because Pride Month is over doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be proud of who you are. That’s the goal of LGBT STEM Day, which took place for the first time on July 5th, 2018. The creators of this holiday want to “push to increase diversity and inclusion in STEM” (PrideInSTEMDay). This holiday is meant to be a celebration for all of the LGBT scientists, mathematicians, doctors, or any other member of a STEM field. It is also meant to encourage those who are in STEM fields but feel that they are not accepted by the STEM community because of their gender or sexual orientation. LGBT STEM Day is meant to inspire future generations of STEM students to be open about who they are and to encourage acceptance throughout the whole community. Some may question the need for such a holiday. It is the belief of some in the scientific community that there is no need to be open because science is inherently accepting of all walks of life. This is tragically false. Studies show that LGBTQ people in STEM “report more negative workplace experiences than do their counterparts in other industries, or than do non-LGBTQ scientists” (Freeman, Jon). Not to mention that LGBTQ undergraduates in STEM fields are leaving STEM at an alarming rate. According to an article from Elsevier.com, Dr. Fitsmaurice of the CDC stated that “LGBT scientists continue to be subjected to hiring and promotion discrimination and harassment for identifying as LGBT,” (Elsevier). This could cause major issues for the future of STEM. Advancement is the core mission of STEM. Advancement can only from a wide variety of worldviews and mindsets. Diversity is the key to a wide variety of worldviews and mindsets. Without diversity, there is no advancement, and without advancement, there is no STEM. To say that STEM could continue to evolve and discover at the rate it needs to with only a select group at the helm is nonsense. It is the duty of anyone in the STEM field, be it a student, teacher, practitioner, or even just an enthusiast, to encourage people from all walks of life to strive and to be open about who they are and join these STEM fields because they can make a difference. And that difference is the advancement STEM needs now and will always need. Freeman, Jon. “LGBTQ Scientists Are Still Left Out.” Nature News, Nature Publishing Group, 3 July 2018, www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-05587-y.“LGBTSTEM DAY.” Pride in STEM, 5 July 2018, prideinstem.org/lgbtstemday.Elsevier. “LGBT in STEM: Progress but Still Many Obstacles.” 1st Edition, Butterworth-Heinemann, http://www.elsevier.com/connect/lgbt-in-stem-progress-but-still-many-obstacles.

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