Physicists within the Division of Plasma Physics (DPP) LGBT+ community (which includes, but is not limited to, those identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, non-binary, asexual, or aromantic) face discrimination with uneven protections across the US and internationally. This inequity is reflected within the American Physical Society (APS), whose 2016 LGBT Climate in Physics Report highlighted that there is still much work to be done to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for LGBT+ physicists.
The APS DPP Pride Committee was established in 2021 and envisions a scientific community that is open, welcoming, and supportive of all scientists within the gender and sexual-orientation minority communities. Our aims are to (1) Promote equity for LGBT+ physicists within our profession; (2) Foster community among LGBT+ physicists and their allies through professional networks, mentorship, and safe spaces; (3) Educate and engage allies, support efforts to end discrimination against LGBT+ physicists, and highlight LGBT+ contributions to plasma science; (4) Collaborate with other diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts to address inclusion for all groups and issues of intersectionality; and (5) Pursue a data driven approach for identifying representation and climate related problems and guiding solutions to those problems.
Questions? Comments? Interested in becoming a member of the APS DPP Pride Committee?
APS DPP Meeting Activities
Join us at the DPP Annual Meeting for a variety of community-building events, including:
- Our first ever hosted luncheon, which will provide a public forum for LGBT+ physicists and allies to network and interact and which may include panel discussions or invited speakers. See the upcoming conference schedule for more information.
- Our continued informal networking dinner first established in 2015. The networking dinner provides a safe space for LGBT+ physicists to participate in an event that is specifically for creating important and meaningful connections to members within their own community that would otherwise be difficult to establish, without fear of exposure to discrimination or harassment.
- A new job fair booth for LGBT+ physicists to help bridge the gap between industry and academia, provide space for advertisers to highlight their support for LGBT+ applicants, and further strengthen the support network for those in the LGBT+ community across academia, the national labs, and industry.
We also encourage conference attendees to attend the DPP Ally Training organized by the Women+ in Plasma Physics (W+IPP).
We are also launching a new series of year-round events, beginning in 2021:
- A mentorship pilot program that offers mentoring tailored to LGBT+ members of the APS DPP community, aimed at professional development and support. Use the “Contact Us” form above if you are interested in joining!
- Collaboration with other committees, such as W+IPP and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Organizing Collective (DEIOCC), on general visibility and outreach efforts such as joint town halls on topical events, ally-training, and surveys.
- Regular networking and informal social activities. Use the “Contact Us” form above for more information.
APS LGBT+ Climate Report
In 2016 APS released the LGBT Climate in Physics Report, which clearly showed that the overall climate for LGBT+ physicists can vary significantly, with a substantial number of respondents indicating an uncomfortable climate or experiencing and observing exclusionary behavior. Isolation is common, with social norms frequently establishing expectations of closeted behavior, making it difficult for LGBT+ physicists to identify allies. This is only exacerbated for individuals who also have other marginalized identities, with transgender and gender non-conforming individuals encountering particularly hostile environments. These factors have all contributed to many LGBT+ physicists leaving or considering leaving the field, resulting in a significant loss of diversity and skills to the physics community.
The DPP Pride Committee aims to address several recommendations made by the Climate Report, including:
- Ensure a safe and welcoming environment at meetings.
- Develop advocacy efforts that support LGBT+ equity and inclusion.
- Promote LGBT-inclusive practices in academia, national labs, and industry.
- Implement LGBT-inclusive mentoring programs.
Other recent news stories about LGBT+ physicists:
APS and Other Resources for LGBT+ Physicists