I am gay and I am a biology PhD student.//

Growing up in a country where homo- and transphobia are still commonplace is hard for LGBT+ people. During college, I realized that much of this hate came from ignorance, and that we could indeed something about it. Before I finish my Bachelor in Peru, I traveled to the US to acquire research experience. That period did not only bring me new scientific approaches, but also helped me to embrace my identity in all its regards. Back in Peru, I volunteered in the Peruvian Pride Parade and got involved in different initiatives to promote leadership and effective science communication. Two of them are DEVOL (Developmental and Evolutionary Biology) and Journal Club – Peru. Both projects, in their own way, look for efficient ways to communicate and promote science and enhance soft skills in Peruvian undergraduate students. Now, I am a first-year PhD student at Clark University, in the program of Biology, working on nervous system evolution and development using an annelid as model organism. In this position, I am committed to continue empowering the next generation of Peruvian undergraduate students, and to gain visibility for the LGBT+ community as a Peruvian gay in STEM based in the US.

Twitter: @johnnyds0411; Instagram: @johnnyds0411_