Jennifer Nemhauser


I am queer and pansexual and I am a professor of biology at University of Washington.//


I have often been accused of not doing femaleness right, and this has been even more evident as I get older and louder. I have known that I was bi/pansexual since high school, but I have also been with the same cis-male partner since that time. The constant accruing of unearned privilege from almost everyone in my life classifying me as straight has made it hard to feel like I have a right to claim my queer identity. I do not correct people’s misconceptions as often as I should. Where my queer identity is most clearly expressed is in how I lead my lab group. I spend a lot of time learning about and reflecting on what it means to queer science—the research questions that get asked; the paths we take to find answers; the models; the metaphors; who is doing the work; and the relationships between the members of the lab group or collaboration or department. I have worked hard to build a community that celebrates the unique contributions of each member, and encourages all of us to envision and enact a better version of science through our everyday actions.