As an undergraduate, Jennifer Honeycutt was openly queer and active in campus LGBTQ groups but didn’t self-identify as queer professionally. Ten years ago social media was still evolving and many queer students in STEM felt isolated and marginalized in the sciences, which were traditionally white cis male disciplines. The idea of “coming out professionally” was frightening for queer students who had few examples of openly queer faculty in the STEM fields. Moreover, the political and social climate on many American college campuses discouraged many students from professionally labeling themselves as queer because of safety concerns and fear of reprisals in the academy.
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