Charles Wilson


I am gay and I am a linguist/dialectologist. //

I’m in a field that’s generally considered to be an art or humanity, but there’s a strong STEM element: I use statistics and cartography as evidence for regional variation in the Scottish Gaelic language. I focus on grammar, which is often considered a scientific aspect of language by some of my colleagues, too. I often comment that my research is where art and science meet! I also challenge prejudice toward linguistic diversity, and promote language learning and multilingualism. As a gay man, I fit in well in this field because it is always about challenging labels and celebrating differences. Even the term STEM is challenged by my field. On a regular basis, I face prejudice for being a minority language speaker, and this is surprisingly worse than the prejudice I face for being gay. But we are all allies in the fight against marginalization. And, in the future, I intend to research LGBTQ+ experiences of being learners and speakers of minority languages.