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    LGBTQ+ Intersectional Identities in STEMM: Xandria Quichocho (they/he/she), Physics Education Researcher

    (This series of profiles from the California Academy of Sciences New Science exhibit tells first-person stories of LGBTQ+ women and gender minorities of color working in STEMM—science, technology, engineering, math, and medicine—professions.)

    When I started doing physics education research, I was also coming to terms with the fact that I’m bisexual. I sought truth in my research; in queer, feminist poetry; in critical race theory. I learned new words, a new language—something that felt true and real. 

    I graduated college identifying as a bisexual, Black, and CHamoru woman. I didn’t feel like a woman, but I didn’t feel like a man either. Yet I was supposed to be a Black woman, according to everyone else. It took time, but I learned that the rules that I grew up with were absolutely fake, and that if I didn’t want to be a woman, I didn’t have to be. It was a moment of gender liberation.

    With the language I’ve learned from intersectional scholars, from Black women and queer folks, I can happily say: Hello! I’m Xandria R. Quichocho, my pronouns are they/he/she, and I am a Black and CHamoru, bisexual, non-binary physics education researcher currently pursuing my physics Ph.D. at Michigan State University. And that’s the most true and real I can be.

    Published on December 16, 2021