Being queer in the jungle: The unique challenges of LGBTQ scientists working in the field

The queer community is resilient. No matter what obstacles they encounter, their battle to live, pursue their passions, and contribute to society endures. For many queer people that passion is science.  Queer scientists such as Alan Turing who was crucial in ending World War II, and Sara Josephine Baker who made unprecedented breakthroughs in child hygiene and preventative medicine.

This Blog post is meant to bring attention to queer scientists that are working in the field.  Field research encompasses any type of scientific research that involves collecting data in non-laboratory locations.  Several scientific areas involve field work such as zoology, paleontology, and botany.  The field is a fun and exciting place to perform science, however for those who identify as queer1, working in the field can present challenges that may not be known to cis-gendered1 or straight scientists.

To be “in” or to be “out”? That is the question

The biggest decision for all LGBTQ individuals is whether to disclose their sexuality or gender identity. The risks for being out in the field are very location dependent. Dr. Siobhán Cooke from John’s Hopkins School of Medicine currently does work in the Dominican Republic and Colombia. She feels comfortable being out and talking about her wife while in the Dominican Republic and Columbia. However, when she did field work in Tanzania she did not come out because she thought it would be unsafe.   Read more via BioMed Central