LGBTQIA+ and iNaturalist

I’d like to thank the folks at iNat, and all of you fellow i-Natters for making the effort to make this an open and welcoming community. It’s not always easy to take a stand publicly in the face of occasional aggressive pushback from the few who somehow feel threatened by diversity, so I applaud all of you who do!


What a cool story! Have you ever written that particular pair up, like in a blog post or something? I’d love to read more about them, if you have and it’s shareable/you feel comfortable sharing it.


I’d be interested in an ongoing LGBTQ+ project as well! (I am planning to attend the mixer.)


Happy pride! I’m bi, and helped create my high school’s very first Gay/Straight Alliance back in the early 90s. Nature and iNaturalisting are very important to me, yet I never thought of finding other LGBTQIA folks here until reading this blog post. I already feel more at home, and more comfortable with my whole self. Which then will probably lead me to be more active observing & identifying. So I do think this discussion is very important for us users and the app as a whole.

I also want to note: cargo shorts, check; hiking boots, check. :-D Pockets for the win!


I am one of the people featured in the blog post. All of the comments here by people saying that our identities are irrelevant and are not worth highlighting are exactly why it’s so important that places like iNaturalist make us as visible as possible.

That’s also why I will refuse to engage with this post further. I have no interest in engaging with bigots who don’t believe I am a human being worthy of being my full self and seeing them here makes it very clear that I am not safe even with the naturalist community.


I didn’t write them up, I was an intern there. But my colleagues did:


Gosh! I’m so sorry you are feeling this way. I viewed this thread as largely supportive and eye opening. Maybe I did not read each posting closely? I’m so sorry something you read here made you feel otherwise. But, let’s try to maintain a prideful outlook as much as is practical for each persons’ feelings of security.


Actually, reading their paper, they are focusing on a different female-female pair then the one I knew. The scrub-jay pair they write about formed in 2014. The one I knew, which I guess was never written up, was already established and known to my colleagues when I interned there in 2000. So there have been at least two female female pairs in that same population.


I’ve only seen a couple of comments like that here, most of the conversation has been kind and supporting.


I do wonder, though: if we look at how the participant list for this thread differs from other threads, how many non-LGBTQIA+ people did not participate because they deemed it unimportant or of no interest to them? I for one appreciate organizations like PFLAG, where people who are not “us” can still show their support for us.


Interesting thought. I’d imagine many people.

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Well, you can’t push everyone to be caring about problems of others, realistically, even in nature community (well, with some old folks it’s extremely hard), but here you have to count all likes too, if people don’t comment doesn’t mean they don’t care. Plus I’m sure many are afraid of drama and it is already here.


I don’t think you can reliably ascertain or extrapolate who is or isn’t LGBTQIA+ based on who didn’t participate in the thread. Not everyone is comfortable disclosing their identity.




I’ve been thinking that for a while. However, iNat is a varied place, so there are probably many people who dislike the topic of LGBTQIA+ issues for any number of reasons. However, there has really only been one argumentative contribution, so there is that…
EDIT - and with that, I think I’ll stop commenting. As a straight person I am starting to sense that I have nothing more to contribute, or my comments may be misunderstood.

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I do wish that it would be universally.understood that topics like these do matter. A great deal, in fact.

Right now that isn’t the case. But if we want that to change, we have to talk about it. Including with people who don’t agree with us, or who don’t know enough to care in the first place.

As a parallel example… All of us know people who don’t care about environmental issues. Of course they should as it is highly important and affects them. But getting mad at someone for their apathy isn’t going to make things better. You just gotta spread information and keep talking. Educate people, engage with them.


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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