I am queer and I am an assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology. //
I viscerally remember how nervous I was to come out to my PI during grad school. I wondered, how might it affect my career? In retrospect, my nerves feel silly—I was at Berkeley and the next oldest student in the lab was out and gay—yet every coming out event contains uncertainty, and uncertainty feeds anxiety. My husband and I married in San Francisco, four days before Proposition 8 banned gay marriage in California. Within a week, we had said our vows, campaigned on the streets of Oakland, and had the majority of voters in our state attempt to annul our relationship. The day after, amidst the joy of Obama’s election, I was emotionally crushed. I had a weekly meeting scheduled with my PI that afternoon. Of course, I had not made any research progress or accomplished anything since our last meeting. I desperately wanted to skip. But when I walked into his office, before I could say anything, he hugged me and expressed his sorrow and anger. That, my friends, is how to be an ally.