HOMOPHOBIA IN THE SCIENCES

Karen Kroslowitz kroz at bishop.bishop.hawaii.org
Wed Jan 12 16:29:52 EST 1994


Dear Unknown and D.Ewing,
Thanks, first of all, for not becoming completely offended by my reply to
Unknown. I found it very difficult to write as I didn't want to come off
sounding like a know-it-all, self-righteous B---- who speaks for the whole
group. I truly would like to hear what you and others have to say. And
please call me Karen (Kroslowitz is what they called my father at work!) -
I have every intention of being friendly with everyone on the group.

I am sorry to hear that you face such difficulties being honest and open
in your work and studies. It must be very stressful to try to be yourself,
study and work hard AND feel as if you are being judged every minute. I
think most women feel that they can't be entirely honest about their
personal lives (domestic problems, health, work, whatever), but I can't
imagine not being able to talk about my husbadn to other people. Everyone
knows us as a couple and when we were married in October it was the
proudest day of my life. I truly respect him for the intelligent,
sensitive, sincere, loving person that he is and it would just kill me
to feel as if I couldn't talk about him out of fear of being judged. 
Discrimination is a very real thing and it will always exist in this
world, no matter what. Here in Hawaii there is a tremendous mixing of
races, cultures, and yes, sexuality. A few of my friends are gay, and many
of us from work also socialize outside these walls. But while my straight
friends all talk about or bring along their partner, I have seen one
lesbian friend bring her partner out with us. Theywere very open about
their relationship, wore matching rings (are these considered wedding
rings? I suppose it's really up to the individuals, yes?) and acted just
like everyone else. No surprise there. But they are also both extremely
intelligent, hard-working and driven for success (both are seeking their
PhDs). I don't know if their openness has created any real problems in
their professional pursuits (and by real I mean the kind of potential
problems that Unknown expressed - I am sure their lesbianism has created
all kinds of other problems as well).
So I digress again. Maybe I'm just trying to say hang in there and be the
best person and scientist you can be. Although people will always just you
at first glance, once you have demonstrated your true skills and talents
and natural charm, the ones who end up respecting you are the friends and
colleagues you'll want to keep.
Best Wishes to both of you!

Karen J. Kroslowitz			phone: 808-848-4118
Natural Sciences, Malacology		fax:   808-841-8968
Bernice P. Bishop Museum		kroz at bishop.bishop.hawaii.org




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