A Family Day Reflection (2024)

It’s Family Day here in Canada (well in parts of it at least), so naturally I’m thinking about family, both by birth and those I’ve chosen. I’ll share with you the thoughts about those I’ve chosen.

I’ve been really fortunate to have so many 2SLGBTQIA+ folks embrace me. In my scientific career – where I’ve talked at length about how isolating the experience can be, especially at smaller University’s in more isolated parts of the country – I’ve been particularly fortunate. I’ve had the opportunity to travel to visit Queer STEM events, I’ve had the support of so many to build some of these events myself, and all along the way, I’ve cobbled together a network of truly supportive and wonderful people. A group of these people helped me start a new networking organization, the Pride in Microbiology Network, during pride month last year, and I hope that this network will continue to bring together 2SLGBTQIA+ scientists, as we have done before.

All of this is to say, that while I’ve experienced the isolation of being the only out Queer in a STEM space, I have been taken in by a lovely group of supportive folks who help me feel comfortable being who I am inside and outside the workplace. This is family. Supportive, nurturing, shoulder-to-cry-on people. I’m looking forward to watching this family grow, and working together to make STEM a better place for all of us.