Today is the first ever International LGBTSTEM Day, a day focused on acknowledging the lives of LGBTQ people in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields.
As the press release from Pride In STEM, the charitable trust that organized LGBTSTEM Day, reads:
“More than 40 percent of LGBTQ people in STEM are not out, an abysmally high number. One-third of out American physicists have been told to stay in the closet to continue their career. Half of transgender or gender non-conforming physicists were harassed in academia. Gay and bisexual students are less likely to follow an academic career.”
Happy #LGBTSTEMDay one and all!
— Pride In STEM (@PrideinSTEM) July 5, 2018
LGBT folks in these fields are sharing their stories (sometimes with cute selfies) on Twitter using the hashtag #LGBTSTEMDay.
As an queer teen, I nearly didn't go into science because of lack of role models like me. Representation matters! pic.twitter.com/dlMbAmZQ4k
— dan (@BlackFinch) July 5, 2018
— Dr Sally Le Page (@sallylepage) July 5, 2018
The Pride is strong with this one.
Today is the first international #LGBTSTEMDay
There is a huge and welcoming community to be found, shine a little brighter today fabulous geeks of every flavour pic.twitter.com/FpfJiRDZgZ
— Dr Jamie Gallagher (@JamieBGall) July 5, 2018
In addition, some STEM organizations are celebrating the day with their employees.
A really significant day, both professionally and personally, as @WEHI_research celebrates the 1st international #LGBTSTEMDay Thank you everyone for making it so special @robbie_bonelli @0SEMS0 @QueersInScience @SamLudolf @lisaharveysmith @ljnaughton 🏳️🌈 pic.twitter.com/o2Vekl4XDk
— Lou Johansson (@oz_lou) July 5, 2018
Today is #LGBTSTEMDay, the first international day of LGBTQ+ people in STEM. ESA is proud to support and celebrate diversity, equality, and inclusion in our workplace @ESAdiversity https://t.co/bSIhomYz5y pic.twitter.com/ND4LPqQPwO
— ESA (@esa) July 5, 2018
As with all calls for diversity, it’s important to keep in mind two things. First, we don’t accomplish LGBTQ diversity without addressing intersectionality — Black and Latino folks are also underrepresented in STEM fields. Second, we need research organizations and companies to take actual action when it comes to diversity. It isn’t enough to make your Twitter icon rainbow-themed.
Pride In STEM knows this, and they even mentioned in their release that this is just the beginning.
“LGBTSTEMDay won’t fix all the issues, but it will shine a big light on them. We are sure it will start conversations, and that’s so important. Ignorance kills. It is time to stop pretending that the STEM disciplines are not influenced by politics and social changes,” Dr. Alfredo Carpineti, the chair of Pride In STEM, stated. “Some science might be done in a physical vacuum, but no science is done in a historical one.”