Name: Evan Leto
Current Job: Undergraduate Student Researcher
Scientific Discipline/Field: Astrophysics
Pick some letters (L,G,B,T,Q,+, etc.): TQ
Twitter or other social media handle: @evandmitri
What does your job involve?
I’ve analyzed IR spectra of massive young stars to identify emission lines and estimate mass accretion rates.
How did you get to this job (education etc.)?
I work within the department at my undergraduate institution. I contacted my PI to ask about any openings for undergraduates in her lab near the end of my freshman year.
Do you feel being LGBT has affected your career decisions?
Absolutely! When I was first looking into research positions, I very carefully selected people to contact based on their previous diversity work or statements.
Have you had any reactions from colleagues about being LGBT, either good or bad?
Nearly all of my professors and colleagues have taken my gender identity in stride, switching pronouns seamlessly.
Did you have any role models growing up (LGBT, STEM, totally unrelated.)?
What are your plans for the future?
I will be applying to graduate schools in the upcoming months and hope to pursue a PhD someday!
Anything else you’d like to add?
While many of my professors have been accepting of my identity as a transgender student, the anxiety I endure, knowing that I have to out myself to avoid being misgendered and must occasionally remind people to use my correct name, takes a toll on my work. I’ve noticed a significant difference in my productivity in environments where my identity is never questioned and my work is allowed to speak for itself.