"Closeted LGBT scientists employ multiple strategies to avoid workplace harassment and bigotry, including covering, passing/compartmentalizing, and overachieving," Jacqueline Ruttimann Oberst writes, exploring "three dimensions in the professional lives of young LGBT scientists—mentoring, being a minority within a minority, and playing the role of leader versus activist…." Oberst spotlights several GLBT researchers who have coped with discrimination in sometimes very subtle ways.
"We’re at the same place with sexual orientation and gender that we were with race/ethnic diversity 25 years ago. It’s the same fight but with different people," says Amy A. Ross, Ph.D., an associate biologist at the California Institute of Technology. "[D]istinctions within the LGBT community…are even more granular," Oberst writes. However, merely stepping out of the closet is often the strongest stance anyone can take, whether you say you're an activist or not.