I am a lesbian and I am a research oceanographer.//
I’m a research oceanographer and a lesbian, happily married to my partner of over 25 years (married when it became legal). I received a Ph.D. in physical oceanography (the first female at my university) studying atmospherically forced mesoscale motions, and before that an MS in marine biology (coral reef fish ethology). I was always unapologetically out and it did hurt my career. Discrimination was alive and well and sometimes it still is, also not as blatant and now it’s never admitted or sometimes even conscious. As an undergrad in Berkeley I was told I could not be hired as a student assistant by one professor because they would not hire “my kind”. But that was in the 1980s. Things have changed significantly since, although we are still far from full equality. I feel that the most important thing we can do is to be unapologetically out in order to advance acceptance of GLBTQ people as hatred is caused by fear, and we fear what we do not know or understand.
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