I’m queer and I’m a molecular biologist. //
Growing up in a rural and conservative Christian community in the South, my STEM exposure was about as much as my exposure to LGBTQ+ identities—virtually non-existent. I was fortunate to attend a public science high-school that showed me that many of the ideologies and precepts I’d grown up with were not the only ones available when formulating my own world view. I latched onto the (specifically life) sciences and continued my interests into college, exploring the the complex and intricate workings of living organisms’ biochemistry and their ability to maintain stable yet dynamic environments in the face of a wide array of harmful and stressful environmental hazards. The specific phenomenon I study in regard to this concept now is bacterial cell morphology, its mechanism and regulation. However, as I continue within academia as a queer, first-generation, multi-racial doctoral candidate, I have discovered how my own passion for science means nothing if it does not translate to the communities I embody. As a graduate student and, hopefully, future policy influencer, I strongly believe the science I conduct be accessible, pertinent, and engaging to all marginalized identities in the public to create a more holistic scientific community.