The LGBT Health & Development Program

Youth Blog—Remembering LGBTQ Women in STEM

Posted on October 23rd, 2015 by Sydney in Featured, Youth Blog. No Comments


Mike Gnuckx, “Monocular Telescope at Eiffel Tower in Paris,” September 22, 2012

The LGBTQ community is made up of a beautiful diversity of individuals, past and present, who have helped pave the way for equal treatment, opportunity, and access across all areas of life. This month we pay tribute to women in the LGBTQ community who have advocated and excelled in the career fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) – areas that are still dominated by the heterosexual and cisgender male population [1].

Alberta Hunter (1895-1984) — Nursing

Memphis born and Chicago raised, Alberta Hunter is most commonly known for her musical talents as a singer of blues, pop, and show tunes. After gaining international success as both a performer and song writer, Hunter found her second calling in the healthcare sector as a nurse at the age of 62. Her passion and commitment to the field of nursing would last until the age of 82 when she retired due to age [2].

Virginia Prince (1912-2009) — Pharmacologist

Born and educated in California, Virginia Price was a woman of many career paths. To start, Price taught at the University of California at San Francisco, where she earned a Ph.D. in pharmacology. She went on to found and edit “Transvestia” Magazine for 20 years, before she would accept an offer to sell the magazine. Price would continue to become a transgender pioneer, found national organizations, and author a series of groundbreaking literature on the topic of crossdressing, such as “How to Be a Woman though Male.” [3]

Angela Clayton (1959-2014) — Physicist

United Kingdom native, Angel Clayton, was a health physicist and transgender activist. Clayton primarily worked in the field of Nuclear and Radiological Criticality Safety and earned a series of leadership roles for her work including head of Critical Safety at the Atomic Weapons Establishment and chairperson of the UK working Party on Criticality. In 2006, Clayton was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire, for her dedicated work as an activist for transgender equality in the workplace [4].

Tam O’Shaughnessy (1952-Present) — School Psychologist

Prior to dedicating her career to reducing the gender gap within sciences, O’Shaughnessy would earn both her B.S. and M.S. in Biology from Georgia State University. Her interest in scientific literature and writing would lead her to earn a Ph.D. in school psychology from University of California Riverside [5]. Tam O’Shaughnessy is currently recognized for her role as Co-Founder, President, and CEO of Sally Rider Science. Established with her partner, Sally Ride (renowned astronaut and physicist), the science education company aims to help foster and develop young students, particularly girls and minorities, to better navigate and pursue careers in STEM [6].

As we look back in celebration of Hunter, Price, Clayton, and O’Shaugnessy alongside the contributions of countless women left unmentioned, we should continue to charge ahead and pursue the inclusion of women in STEM. Together, we can demand that his-tory recognize the her-story of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

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[1] Cech, E.A. (2015). LGBT Professionals’ Workplace Experiences in STEM-Related Federal Agencies. American Society for Engineering Education. Retrieved October 1, 2015 from file:///C:/Users/sha510/Downloads/LGBT_Professionals__Workplace_Experiences_in_STEM-Related_Federal_Agencies.pdf

[2] Wilson. J.S. (1984). Alberta Hunter, 89, Cabaret Star, Dies. The New York Times. Retrieved October 6, 2015 from

[3] Virginia Price. University of Victoria Libraries: Transgender Archives. Retrieved October 5, 2015 from

[4] Purton, P. Obituary-Angela Clayton MBE. Retrieved October 1, 2015 from

[5] Sally Ride Science. Founders: Founders. Found October 13, 2015. From

[6] Sally Ride Science. Company: Igniting Students’ Interest in STEM. Found October 13, 2015. From

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