June is Pride Month! In addition, the Government of Canada recognizes the period from June to September as Pride Season. This time is intended to honour, celebrate, and recognize the experiences of 2SLGBTQIA+ staff, student, faculty and alumni in APSC, at UBC, and across Canada.
Spotlight Event: Pride Month Fireside Chat with Associate Director Sheryl Staub-French
Date: June 29, 2023
Time: 3:00 - 4:30 p.m.
Location: CEME 2202
We are holding an open conversation to reflect on the experiences and priorities of 2SLGBTQIA+ faculty, staff and students in STEM. This ‘fireside chat’ will be guided by Sheryl Staub-French, Associate Dean of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI), in the Faculty of Applied Science (APSC). Sheryl joined APSC twenty years ago as a professor in civil engineering. Sheryl will share her experiences in academia and how they relate to her 2SLGBTQIA+ identity.
We invite you to attend, listen, share and connect within this open space.
Educational Resources and Teaching Aids
The stories of 2SLGBTQIA+ people are important and allow us to build a more inclusive curricula and culture in APSC. We are sharing the following stories and resources to inspire your learning journey. Feel free to share the stories and links below with your colleagues, friends and family.
Dr. Sally Ride
Dr. Sally Ride was the first American woman in space. She was also the first known 2SLGBTQIA+ astronaut. Sally Ride served as the Capsule Communicator (CAPCOM) during space shuttle missions STS-2 and STS-3. She was an expert on the space shuttles robotic arm and was crucial in ensuring successful deployment of satellites. She continued her NASA career by serving as an investigator for both investigation boards following the Challenger and Columbia space shuttle accidents. She was also a member of the US Human Space Flight Committee, a committee that laid the groundwork for current human space flight.
Sally Ride was a private person and only revealed her 2SLGBTQIA+ identity near the end of her life. According to author Lynn Sheer, “If Sally Ride was openly gay she would have never been selected to be an astronaut and the first American woman in space.” Despite this discrimination, Sally fell in love with Tam O’Shaughnessy and they were partners for twenty-seven years. Tam carries on Sally’s legacy by leading “Sally Ride Science”, a science education company.
Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein
Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein is an American theoretical cosmologist and particle physicist with the University of New Hampshire. She is well known for her academic scholarship and contribution to our understanding of the universe. Chanda also worked at NASA as a postdoctoral fellow at the Goddard Space Flight Center.
Her academic scholarship has focused on cosmic acceleration, dark matter, and active galactic nuclei. In December 2022, she worked with two research assistants to develop a database of Black women with PhDs in physics disciplines. Her database can be found here.
Chanda is queer and agender. She is also an advocate for increasing diversity in STEM. Chanda is also an expert on dark matter and has found many opportunities to incorporate her scholarship with her important advocacy work.
Dr. Alan Turing
Dr. Alan Turing was a computer scientist, cryptanalyst, philosopher and theoretical biologist. His work has been influential in the fields of computer science and artificial intelligence (AI). Notably, he was the creator of the “Turing test,” a test that assesses AI’s ability to exhibit intelligent behavior much like humans. Perhaps we will be hearing more about the Turing test as AI continues to advance!
Alan Turing served in the Second World War as a codebreaker. His work on cracking the Enigma machine allowed the Allied Powers to defeat Nazi Germany by cracking other encrypted communications.
Alan, however, was betrayed by his country and prosecuted in 1952 for “homosexual acts.” He was brutalized by the justice system and was chemically castrated. Alan died by suicide on June 7, 1954. In 2009, the British government publicly apologized and granted a posthumous pardon. The ‘Alan Turing Law’ is a term used to describe retroactive pardons of men convicted of homosexuality. Dr. Alan Turing’s story is an example of the historic and present discrimination that 2SLGBTQIA+ people continue to face.
Dr. James Makokis
Dr. James Makokis is a Nehiyô maskihkiwiyiniw (Plains Cree physician). He is two-spirit and is well-known for his medical scholarship and clinical practice focused on trans healthcare. James graduated from the University of Ottawa medical school in 2010 and the University of British Columbia’s Aboriginal Family Medicine residency.
According to his website, James believes that “power should be shared, especially with those who have been disempowered.” Notably, James was the winner of Season 7 of The Amazing Race Canada. In each episode, James and his husband wore a different outfit that had a unique underlying message. On one episode the team wore red skirts with rainbow ribbons. The red skirts were to represent missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls and the rainbow ribbons represented transgender and two spirit people.
In the second episode, the team wore blue t-shirts that said, “water is life.” The team wore these shirts to raise awareness of the importance of water in ceremony and the philosophical basis for law. The teams’ name, “Team Ahkamêyimok” means “keep going” or “don’t give up” in Plains Cree.
Continue your Pride Season celebration: