LGBTQIA+ and iNaturalist

I don’t think it’s all that clear from the initial post who was invited to participate in this discussion. I did not know the definition of “ally” for purposes of this topic, but after googling it I thought this discussion space was reserved for LGBTQIA+ and others who are active in the movement to relate their experiences. I asked one question and made one comment after deciding it was probably okay to participate to the extent of asking someone to elaborate, but I had to think about it. I did not read the initial post as a general call for expressions of support, so I don’t think any negative inferences should be made about people not participating.


It does depend whom you ask.

Personally I would consider anyone who is willing to voice their support for equal rights and equitable treatment to be an ally.

As for who “should” be speaking here, again, this is only my personal opinion, but I think a focus on lgbt folk and those who are more aware of what they go through is appropriate. But this is a public forum, open to everyone, so long as you’re respectful. As I said in my first post, questions are welcome.


The Merriam-Webster definition of an ally is “one that is associated with another as a helper: a person or group that provides assistance and support in an ongoing effort, activity, or struggle … often now used specifically of a person who is not a member of a marginalized or mistreated group but who expresses or gives support to that group.”

That’s how I meant it in my post above. Not a member of the group but supportive nonetheless.


Like, for example, PFLAG. Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. Nothing in that identity implies anything about their own orientation.

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Happy Pride Month to all the bears in the iNat community!

…serving you Bear Claw Realness for over 50 years


Yes! If I were turned into a Gollum-equivalent, I suspect I’d be coveting pants/skirts with decent pockets, rather than some silly ring. :rofl:


Thank you so much for the reference & link! I look forward to reading the paper and learning more about scrub-jays (who have so far eluded my attempts to actually see them in the wild… but nevertheless enchant me).


Offering gentle, supportive hugs to you and anybody else who needs them. :purple_heart: :blue_heart: :sparkling_heart:


Thanks. I’m doing a lot better now. It’s been almost a year to the day since I was let out of the hospital actually.
I got out with only light scarring. Which is a better than average outcome for lgbt+ people.

My case is a little more complicated since it was also compounded by acute PTSD from my military service, but many if not most lgbt people in the world have at least some complex PTSD due to how they are treated, which at best results in anxiety and at worst ends in death by suicide.

Needless to say, it is very hard to focus on learning or science when you are anxious. Or dead. I dropped out of school for a while but hope to start over soon.

Sorry for being so dark, but it does need to be said. I’m not really one to avoid hard topics.

Awareness saves lives. Laws that support human rights save lives. Voicing your support for those oppressed, even if that is all you can do – saves lives.


Just a heads-up, here’s the registration link to the mixer with 500 Queer Scientists on June 17th, 6 pm PDT (see in your time zone), which I’ve also added to the blog post and the original post of this topic.


I came out in 1977 so have experienced almost every form of homophobia known. My spouse of 44 years, Anne, asked me to say thank you for bringing up this topic. Which is more extraordinary then you know as she suffered a severe brain injury in a car accident 21 years ago and has no short term and poor long term memory. She brought this up the next day. No idea how she did it. I thank you for the topic as well, and for whatever happened in Anne’s brain to allow her to remember.


Funny thing, i used to also think that gender was clearly an arbitrary social construct. Why did people care so much about it? But then I met and talked to trans* people (or people i knew came out as trans). Then i had a daughter who manifests, from what i can tell, as very much female despite us not pushing gender roles on her. Interesting, right?

Turns out gender isn’t a social construct, instead I am ~agender and just don’t experience it like most people do. I also learned fairly recently that i’m autistic and many if not most autistic people are non-gender-conforming in oen way or another. I am still processing what this means as i am pretty apathetic about my pronouns and such (i don’t use singular they for me, i trip over the grammar anyway). I like to call myself ‘gender-meh’.

So i don’t want to take up space that others need more, and am very much still figuring out what this means for me, but just thought that story was of note. If gender seems super arbitrary or objectionable to you, it may be because you are agender, not because it doesn’t exist for other people.

I am so happy iNat is a relatively safe place for so many LGBTQIA+ people though i also see from some of the responses her and elsewhere that we can do better.


We are on a community forum at the moment, not so much inat. No id - ing over here, only talking about ourselves :grin:


It is hard to be understood some times, but it is easy to be understanding of others. That is what I have seen in you and many others on iNat. Understanding, patience, a willingness to engage and teach. Don’t stop being that.


I said I would not comment anymore, but you and I have become friends. Thank you for all of your kind words over the years. I do try my best to be understanding and try to teach. I sincerely hope that your journey has not been too difficult. Anne is lucky to be married to a person like you. If you need any advice/help, PM me. Always available! And perhaps some day we could meet.


Here’s an article on a variant of the meme and here is an in-depth explanation.


trh_blue, I - a 66 year old lesbian - completely agree with your comment “Believe me, I wish nobody except my romantic partners took the least notice of my sexual identity.” It is so no one’s business (as if I go around asking people if they are heterosexual) and yet, we have to keep reminding people that there are many ways to love. Obviously my stance of “all I want is a girlfirend” because I do, sets me apart from the lesbian “community” of which I really do not enjoy. And most definitely many gals do not enjoy nature or scientific experiences or all my data collecting! Yes, others make it an issue for us. Thank you for your input.


That’s interesting! If you don’t want to say more I won’t bother you about it, but personally I find the queer community to be a safe place full of people who are more likely to understand me and my struggles. Perhaps it’s not like that for you, for whatever reason.

I will say that millennials and gen Z have gained a renewed interest in nature! As a whole I find my peers to be environmentally aware, and often happy to interact with nature. Whether they prefer “mild” nature such as potted plants, or are full-blown field biologists.
And to top that, several of my friends (straight and queer) have remarked at the unusually high proportion of lgbt+ people in biology, and botany in particular.


I have also noticed that about botany in particular.

you’re one of the friends I’m talking about :rofl: