LGBTQIA+ and iNaturalist

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

ursus_arctos
…serving you Bear Claw Realness for over 50 years

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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:

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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).

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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I have also noticed that about botany in particular.

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

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I’m familiar with that feeling too. I feel like that’s part of what makes nature and inaturalist so healing for me-- I don’t have to know everything to enjoy it or to be able to make a worthwhile contribution. That’s my own experience, though, and isn’t necessarily anyone else’s.

It’s your lived experience, you have every right to talk about it as much or as little as you want. I for one am really glad you’re still here, and I sympathize with the struggles you may still be feeling. Thanks for opening up and taking the risk of discussing your experience. If you want to talk to me more about it off the discussion board, please let me know. I went back to school while still battling depression and an unhappy (perhaps emotionally abusive?) relationship at the same time. So I might have some relevant understanding.

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I am learning that myself. Until fairly recently, I thought that gender roles were just that: roles. That people who manifested as classically “masculine” or “feminine” were literally role-playing.

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As a gay friendly cis/straight, I too have watched with growing alarm as the letters have grown from LGBT to the now rather unwieldy LGBTQIA+. I fear one day it will become so long, no one will remember what all the letter stand for! The BBC recently reported it as LGBTQQIP2SAA (!). I’m guessing the addition of the + as a ‘stand in’ for future letters reflects a similar concern in the community itself.

I’m sorry to hear about your experience. I can assure you that no one in the iNat community wants you dead. Indeed, no one would ever be aware of your LGBT+ status had you not mentioned it. Which brings up an uncomfortable fact: while no one wants the LGBT+ community to remain ‘in the closet,’ if you don’t announce your status to the community, no one will know you’re gay and therefore cannot target you with discrimination. Make sense? Contributing to science should always be discrimination free.

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