I’m gay and I’m an associate professor of psychology and neural science. //
I’m a social neuroscientist. My lab and I use techniques like functional neuroimaging to examine how the brain extracts information from faces and uses it for understanding other people and forming decisions about them. Visibility is a critical issue for LGBTQ scientists, and platforms like these are inspiring and long-needed. The first time I met a senior gay scientist wasn’t until the second year of my faculty career. Even though I was plenty out in my personal life, experiences in my career made me feel it’d be unprofessional or career-damaging to be open about my LGBTQ identity. There’s much more we need to do for LGBTQ people in science, both on the visibility front, as well as in eliminating less conscious forms of bias in the scientific community and our policies that continue to hinder the careers of LGBTQ people. For more on that, I wrote this piece in Nature: go.nature.com/2z8nCxg. I’m hopeful for more LGBTQ visibility and representation in STEM fields, and a time when LGBTQ people are readily understood as a valued form of diversity in the scientific workforce.