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Society Alumni share reflections during Pride

By Kevin Easterly

Closeup picture of a Pride Flag
Courtesy of Cecilie Johnsen, Unsplash

June is Pride Month — a time to celebrate the diversity and rich history of the LGBTQIA+ community, and to commit to building a world where everyone is free to be themselves. As we aspire to create a community, and a wider STEM landscape, where everyone can feel safe and comfortable expressing who they are, we’re inspired by the trailblazers who are working to make those ideals more and more possible each day. It’s not always easy. In all fields, including STEM, members of the community can face unique challenges to being seen and accepted. During June, and year-round, it is imperative for allies, organizations and everyone to continue shifting these paradigms toward equality and inclusion.

This year, we had a chance to catch up with a few alumni of Society competitions to learn more about how their experiences within the LGBTQIA+ community have shaped their journeys through science, as well as their vision for creating a more inclusive future. Here’s what they had to say:

Eden Full Goh (ISEF 2007-2008)
New York, New York

“As a member of the ISEF alumni community, I am also proud to be a member of the LGBTQ community. Both of these communities have shaped the founder and CEO I have become today in starting my company, Mobot. I would not have had the courage to quit my job and start Mobot without the encouragement and support of my wife. I feel incredibly fortunate to feel comfortable being myself at work, and I hope to create a safe space for all our teammates to be themselves.”

Faye (Felix) Lin (ISEF 2022, BCM 2020)
Mission San Jose High School
Fremont, California

“Personally, the most important LGBTQIA+ aspect to me is my genderfluidity, which means that I can switch between genders at any given moment. This has really impacted the way I see myself, as I don’t associate myself fully with femininity and therefore being a woman in STEM, even though I am female at birth. Sometimes, during my project or while presenting my project, I had to deal with a lot of gender dysphoria. I hope to show people that no matter what gender they identify as, we all have an equal chance at science without gender bias being in the way.”

Scott Schuh (STS 2001, ISEF 1998-2001)
Boston Scientific
Minneapolis, Minnesota

“Being in the engineering field, initially, I felt pretty isolated being gay and not feeling that I could talk about my personal life at work. But as I’ve become more involved in our Employee Resource Group, “PRIDE at Boston Scientific,” and various groups on LinkedIn, I’ve learned that there are so many more LGBTQIA+ peers than I ever thought, and I feel completely included and equal. Being the co-lead for our sites PRIDE ERG and our division’s DE&I Council lead has afforded me great opportunity to share my experiences and to meet people from across my company and industry that I likely wouldn’t have if I wasn’t involved in this space.”

Thank you to Eden, Faye and Scott for sharing your perspectives—and Happy Pride Month, everyone!

Kevin Easterly