I am queer and I am a plant evolutionary ecologist. //
For the past 20 years I have been in a queer relationship, and part of one of a small number of LGBTQ families on our campus and in our town. It’s been inspiring to observe a positive change in the level of welcoming in town and at the university over that time. In the past few years, I have made a point to come out to my students (often casually, during lecture or lab) because I am not always visibly queer. This may have given space/opportunity to some of my students to come to my office to talk about their own identities—I hear a lot of early coming-out stories. My science is informed by my queer identity (and vice versa) because I love to think about plant sex and gender. David Lloyd’s work on quantitative gender in plants (in the 1970s) blew up the gender binary in my mind before I met any non-binary humans! Outside of work, I’ve been working on starting a nonprofit organization for LGBTQ people and our allies, to help provide community, support, and advocacy more broadly.