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    LGBTQ+ Intersectional Identities in STEMM

    Dr. Jessica Esquivel, Particle Physicist–

    (Editor’s Note: This new series of profiles from the California Academy of Sciences New Science exhibit will tell first-person stories of LGBTQ+ women and gender minorities of color working in STEMM (science, technology, engineering, math, and medicine) professions.

    New Science is all about showing the world that queer and intersectional identities are changing who does science and how science gets done,” says Dr. Lauren Esposito, the Academy’s Curator of Arachnology and Founder of 500 Queer Scientists, a powerful visibility campaign for LGBTQ+ professionals working in STEMM advocacy. “I am in awe of the incredible people featured in the exhibit and their unique stories and pathways to careers in science, and I hope everyone who visits the exhibit either in person or online feels inspired as well.”)

    Dr. Jessica Esquivel: I am a Black, Mexican, lesbian woman and proud of all the things that make me myself. I am a badass particle physicist because of—not in spite of—these identities. 

    My journey to becoming a physicist wasn’t easy. I didn’t fit the mold of what a scientist looked like, or who could be a scientist. Most of the time I’ve been the only (or one of a few) in these physics spaces, and the realization that these laboratories, these physics classrooms, these halls weren’t built with me in mind hit me like a ton of bricks.

    It took a lot of time and a lot of people in my corner for me to finally realize that if I don’t fit the mold, I need to break the mold.

    Published on October 7, 2021