It’s funny how these little things in life coincide. When I set out to find a subject for my latest History Boys column (page 26 of the issue currently out on the stands) I wanted to find a scientist who was also gay. LGBT people are very well represented, historically, in arts and culture, but the only openly gay scientist I could think of was Alan Turing, an innovator whose life was destroyed by homophobia and a violently oppressive legal system.
For contemporary, gay, scientific role models who are putting their brainpower to work, I have to look no further than YouTube.
Mitchell Moffit and Gregory Brown, the genius, not to mention Canadian, science educators behind AsapScience, released a video today where they came out (again) and dissected the homophobia and sexism they’ve experienced through their YouTube channel.
“Women face a similar challenge in this respect, in that any time there’s a woman or a gay man behind an educational channel, the comments just seem to fixate on that and avoid the actual scientific discussion in the first place,” Moffit says.
“Where are the role models that are showing kids that they can be smart and intelligent and successful and be gay at the same time?” Moffit asks. “Or about the ones that can tell them it’s not all about their personality and looks that will get them through in life?”
AsapScience has taught me so many amazing things: why farts smell, why love happens, why morning wood happens . . . As a fellow queer science enthusiast, I’m super proud of the work they do and the incredible guys behind it!