I am queer and I am a genetics PhD student. //
Queer friends have been crucial support systems while I have pursued my research career. Our community has helped me maintain a sense of irreverence, a virtue needed to navigate life in the 21st century. Weekly watch parties for Rupaul’s Drag Race, sharing niche queer social-media memes, and midnight cabaret performances are moments that ground me. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the uncertainties of our futures, especially being in a field that constantly reminds us how humanity is catastrophically destroying species diversity on this planet. I’m a 22-year-old PhD student in Genome Science & Technology studying symbiotic interactions using multi -omics approaches. Having earned my B.S. in Biology from UMASS Amherst, I embarked down south to Knoxville, TN, last July. I’m surrounded professionally and socially by allies and friends here and I could not be more grateful. I miss my parents and our dog Bowie but they are so proud to see me become the first PhD in the family.