Because gays can explain both the Miss U and the universe.
What does that mean? Read on and find out.
Queer people can excel in any industry including science and issues about queer people exist even in science.
In the Philippines, these issues consist both of stereotyping and invisibilization - stereotyping as seen in the problematic categorization and constraining of LGBTQI people when it comes to their potential and profession and invisibilization because there is limited discussion of their contribution and achievements in various fields, including in science, health and technology.
We want to do our small part in the unlearning and shattering of stereotypes - the baklang kanal can be also be a baklang physicist, the tibs na tumitipa ng gitara at mang-aawit can also be a marine biologist. Even without such formal participation in these fields and even without these titles though, what we simply want to say is that a queer person should not be dismissed or judged as only knowledgeable about certain topics. They can talk about Miss Universe and the universe; sex both as a subject of pleasure and health protection and so on and so forth.
We also want to challenge the invisibilization by celebrating the many dimensions of a queer person’s identity and aspirations.
This is why we made Scientibs Times. Scientibs is a combination of scientist and “tibs,” a Filipino colloquial term which means lesbian. Shai Panela, a science communicator and award-winning science journalist, conceptualized the idea behind this newsletter. She has always thought that science communication should cover contemporary issues in a manner and language that could resonate more to the public.
A long-time friend of mine, she talked to me about it last year and I totally agreed with her that writing about science should be more inclusive and accessible. After all, I grew up on Sineskwela, a kids’ program which laymanized scientific topics. Prior to talking to Shai about this, I have started to write about science - fact-checking misinformation about science, to be particular - in what could be considered unconventional avenues. I did this through Kpop fanfiction and then through actual short stories.
One of these short stories is called “Sero + Oxy,” which featured queer women as protagonists. Both are public school teachers who started and managed a Facebook page which addressed and fact-checked misconceptions and the so-called “fake news” about anything and everything related to science, from volcanic eruptions to vaccines.
I suggested that “Sero+Oxy’s” adventures be continued in this newsletter through a comic series. Shai, thankfully, was warm to the idea. So aside from the Sero+Oxy comic strip, Scientibs Times will also have the following:
Scicom advice column
Queer in STEM profile
Featured popular science/scicom content on soc med
We will come up with both English and Filipino editions. Hope you join us in learning about queer lives in science. Trust us, kabadingan (being queer) and siyensya (science) can be such an inspiring mix.
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