LGBTQ+ STEM Day Virtual Conference

Join Pride in STEM to celebrate the third annual LGBTQ+ STEM Day at the LGBTQ+ STEM Day Virtual Conference on 18th November, 2020! #LGBTQVirtualConf2020

To commemorate American Astronomer and gay activist Frank Kameny’s US Supreme Court fight against workplace discrimination, the conference is about what motivates and challenges us – in our professional lives, in our personal lives, in our practice as researchers, in our lived experiences as members of plural, intersecting, communities, in our pasts and in our futures. 

This year we’re welcoming four leading, international members of the LGTBQ+ STEM community to share their thoughts on motivations and challenges in their work in and beyond STEM. You can read their bios below.

Event Details

14th of November: Speaker videos (see below) go live on this website so you can watch them in advance of the live event. We will also send registered attendees a link to the videos.

18th of November, 14:00-16:00 GMT: Live event on Microsoft Teams*, with:

    We will share the link to the Hangout with registered attendees in advance of the event. 

    We encourage you to bring your thoughts and ideas into the discussion with the panellists to explore new futures in our STEM practices and beyond. *Please download the Microsoft Teams desktop app for best performance.

    Access Provisions

    The speaker videos will have closed captions and full transcriptions provided by AAT Transcriptions. The live event will have two live BSL interpreters, Martin Fox-Roberts and Jacqui Beckford. Automatic closed captioning will be provided through Microsoft Teams, so we recommend external captioning. If you have any questions or additional needs, please contact us.

    Code of Conduct

    This event is a space that supports and welcomes all LGBTQ+ people around the world, but especially those with intersecting marginalised identities. By signing up to this event you are agreeing to the following code of conduct which will be in place during all interactions associated with this event (through moderation and reporting), and the violation of which will lead to ejection from the event: 

    • No harassment or negative comments based on race/ethnicity, gender (including gender identity), sexual orientation, disability, age, religion, physical appearance, citizenship, or other protected categories;
    • No threatening or endangerment of other participants, including the moderators, via text, video or images; 
    • No unwelcome sexual attention;
    • No encouragement of any of the above behaviours;

    Please also note that we will also be ensuring: 

    • No interruption of speakers or other attendees,
    • No GIFS or other flashing images in the chat



    Lianna is smiling at the camera. Lianna is wearing a purple shirt and purple bowtie with a brown jacket, glasses, and a brown flat cap.

    Lianna Newman

    Video transcript

    Lianna Newman, (no pronouns, only use Lianna) is black, queer, nonbinary, and motivated to help STEM organizations do better. Lianna is a Mid-Level Software Engineer at Booz Allen Hamilton, with three years of Human Resources experience, and a B.A. in Communications. During Lianna’s tenure in Human Resources, Lianna was responsible for organizing and facilitating trainings, internship development, and changing company culture. Since then, Lianna has gone on to develop and lead a variety of diversity and inclusion trainings internationally. In 2016, Lianna ventured into a career in technology. Lianna faced a difficult journey, as a result of taking a non-traditional trek to tech. As Lianna experienced discrimination in interviews, bias in retention, and general unwelcomeness in the field, Lianna used those experiences to fuel a need/drive to make the tech space more inclusive and welcoming. In 2018 Lianna helped launch and is currently the DC Chapter Head for Out in Tech DC and the creator/moderator of the #black-mental-health-support channel in Out in Tech’s Slack workspace. Out in Tech is a nonprofit organization that works to bring together the LGBTQIA+ technology community through a variety of events and volunteering opportunities. Later that year Lianna also accepted the role of Director of External Affinity Groups for oSTEM (Out in STEM) after being awarded the 2018 oSTEM Partner Excellence Award. Lianna is a certified suicide interventionist and a safeTALK facilitator. Lastly, Lianna enjoys collecting Harry Potter memorabilia and building dollhouse miniatures.

    Izzy is wearing a blue shirt and glasses, and smiling and looking off camera towards an audience.

    Izzy Jayasinghe (she/her)

    Video transcript

    Izzy Jayasinghe is a Senior Research Fellow and a UKRI Future Leader Fellow in the Department of Molecular Biology & Biotechnology in the University of Sheffield. Her research has focused on developing new optical microscopy techniques for studying the organisation of the molecules of life, particularly proteins, within the heart. Currently, she is developing a series of methodologies which enable super-resolution microscopy in the broader Life Sciences such as clinical and environmental research. As a trans woman of colour and a lesbian, she advocates for LGBTQ+ inclusion and intersectionality in higher education. She currently works closely with LGBTQ+ STEM and TIGER in STEMM to raise awareness of the lack of equality and inclusion in science. Twitter: @i_jayas


    Juani is wearing a red, black, and white pattered jacket over a grey top. She is wearing sunglasses and looking into the camera. In the background is a tree with yellowing leaves.

    Juani Bermejo-Vega

    Video transcript

    Juani Bermejo-Vega (she/her, @queenofquanta). Spanish scientist; trans queer activist; physicist, computer scientist, and quantum computing researcher. I am a Marie Curie-Athenea3i researcher at the University of Granada, Spain. I have worked as a researcher at the Free University of Berlin (2016-2019) and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, Munich, Germany. I did my undergraduate studies at the University of Salamanca (2005-2010), Spain. I am a co-founder of the Q-turn quantum information workshop and the Equal Opportunity Group of the Max-Planck PhDnet. My activism promotes human rights and the creation of inclusive spaces in science.


    Interview in El Salto

    Interview in El País

    Interview in Diario 16



    Michael is wearing a white t-shirt and sitting in front of a window. He is smiling at the camera.

    Michael Rivera

    Video transcript

    Dr. Michael B. C. Rivera (he/him/his) is a Filipino-Chinese biological anthropologist from Hong Kong and recent Cambridge graduate. He has studied, worked and presented in the U.K., Estonia, Latvia, France, Spain, the Netherlands, the U.S. and Hong Kong. His work so far centers upon three topics: 1) how the human species has adapted and evolved over the last 10,000 years, 2) the history of race/racism concepts and decolonial approaches to anthropological and archaeological science, and 3) science communication with wider audiences. He is a contributor to gongsik, a volunteer-run collective based in Hong Kong committed to building transnational solidarity for racial justice. Dr. Rivera is also the host of The Arch and Anth Podcast, a podcast all about the study of human behavior, biology and history.

    Twitter: @riveramichael
    Instagram: @drmichaelrivera