I am queer and I am a computational biologist. //
I’m a scientist investigating microbes living inside the venom glands of animals for my doctoral studies in Quantitative & Systems Biology @ucmerced. I’ve always been fairly private about my queer identity because I personally feel it’s not any stranger’s business to know who I like and who I don’t like. That changed this past year when multiple people made some very strong and incorrect assumptions about the orientations of close colleagues. This bothered me, a lot. Unfortunately, society is not yet at a point where everyone can comfortably be “out” for loving the people they love without receiving external judgement (or worse), and there are added layers of that based on one’s background. I want people to see me and realize what they thought a queer Muslim scientist looks or acts like is actually me, and it’s a lot of people too. I want people to remember it’s about the quality of science being done and that quality is enhanced by diversity, not diminished.