Wednesday 15 August 2018

This hashtag is raising the visibility of bisexual scientists

Physicists, biologists and many other scientist have shared photos using the #BiInSci hashtag.

A Bi-Pride flag (Anastasiia_M/Getty Images/PA)
A Bi-Pride flag (Anastasiia_M/Getty Images/PA)

By Taylor Heyman, Press Association

A Twitter hashtag is raising awareness of bisexual people working in science.

The #BiInSci hashtag was started this week by bisexual virologist Isabel Ott, 21.

Posting pictures of herself in the workplace, she wrote: “I’m starting the hashtag #BiInSci to increase visibility for bisexual members of the #LGBTQinSTEM community. Feel free to join in!”

“I started #BiInSci because I wanted the bi community to have the chance to celebrate our identity,” Isabel told the Press Association.

“So often… bisexuality can feel isolating – we’re seen as not really belonging to the straight or gay communities, and we constantly have to defend the fundamental validity of our existence.”

Isabel praises the bisexual activists who have gone before her, saying “they never really get the chance to celebrate how much their efforts have done to normalise bisexuality and make it safe enough for me, a 21-year-old whose social media presence will be under scrutiny for graduate school and job applications, to feel comfortable coming out online.”

Twitter users took to the hashtag, sharing photos of themselves at work and tweeting messages of support.

Macroecologist Kevin asked people to remember what the “B” in LGBTQ+ stands for.

Andrea is not only a physicist, she also works in mental health advocacy. She shared her delight at the hashtag, later adding a photo showing her and her work.

Graduate students, PhD students, a TV presenter and many other scientists joined in.

It is hoped the hashtag will help to dispel the stereotype that science is predominantly for heterosexual white males, and encourage more people from diverse backgrounds to pursue scientific careers.

“Here’s the thing – ‘science’ isn’t some abstract, sterile concept,” says Isabel.

“It’s done by complex, individual people; we exist outside of the work that we do, and our well-being affects our work.

“I’m thrilled that this hashtag has been so well-received – I love scrolling through and seeing all the wonderful bi scientists talking about the work they do and making connections with one another.”

Press Association

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