Becoming a scientist takes years of hard work and dedication. Transgender scientists and engineers, though, face extra hurdles. Sometimes they feel alone because they don’t know other transgender researchers. When they transition, colleagues may treat them rudely and disrespectfully. And transgender researchers can be in greater physical danger when they travel to other countries for fieldwork.
But these scientists and engineers are gaining support. Universities and organizations are working to make them feel included in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. More researchers are talking openly about being transgender (often abbreviated as “trans”). And they are finding other trans people through meetings and social media.
“It is slowly — maybe slowly, but surely — changing for the better,” says Daniel Cruz-Ramírez de Arellano. “I genuinely feel like that is the case.” He is a chemist at the University of South Florida in Tampa. Cruz-Ramírez de Arellano also has studied transgender scientists’ experiences.
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