I am a lesbian and and I am an air quality and climate scientist.//
I’m from south Georgia, and every stereotype that makes you think it’s hard to be queer there is true for me. I got my Ph’D at the University of Washington and am currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at MIT using measurements of organic aerosols to improve air quality predictions in a global climate model.
I’d never met a real scientist or an adult who was gay until I went to college at MIT. There I met a lot of scientists, but I never met any who were openly gay. The hardest part of coming out for me, was coming out to myself and a big part of that, was that I didn’t see myself anywhere in academia. I think every scientist has the dream of being judged solely on the intellectual quality of their work and being out seemed like it would just be another barrier to that, on top of a gender and age gap. I eventually came out in grad school, but I wasn’t out at work for another few years. I just wanted to be known for doing good science. I’ve been lucky to have had extremely supportive and welcoming scientific advisors, mentors, and peers. I wish I had been able to see myself fitting into the Atmospheric Science community, but as one of the only queer women in the field, I guess I’ll be here for others to see.