Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Friendship circles

I went to a party in Brunswick on the weekend to celebrate an engagement. One of the PhD students in our Department recently got engaged to his boyfriend up in Queensland. Last Saturday, they decided to throw a party to celebrate. T and B's friends can be roughly divided into two groups: biologists and architects (reflecting the respective jobs of the newly-engaged couple). It was curious to see that most of the biologists (well, all except me and the PhD student) were straight. This was quite a contrast to the architects, many of whom appeared to be gay. Sexuality drawn down occupational lines. Interesting.

I seem to be working in a very heterosexual world (how many gay scientists do you know?). Work colleagues aside, it seems that most of my friends (both scientists and non-scientists) are also straight. This was quite a problem when I was still single since I was unable to rely on my friends to introduce me to any of their single gay friends because,quite simply, for the vast majority of them, I was it. And unlike some people I know, I never really changed my friendship circle after coming out either (there was no sudden swapping of all my straight mates for gay ones). It is undeniable that gay and straight people engage with each other very differently than when interacting with those who share the same sexual orientation as themselves but I've never really felt like I've missed out having the friends that I currently enjoy. Nathan, meanwhile, is surrounded by a disproportionate number of fag hag types (he works a lot with nurses).

8 comments:

Andrew said...

Every scientist I know is gay, that being yourself.

Adaptive Radiation said...

Need a greater sample size to be scientifically sound.

Ann O'Dyne said...

blogger Copperwitch knows gay astrophysicists. she often mentions them in posts. they live in the Dandeningnongs. I know gay architects - Yarravillers.

Andrew said...

I am not a scientist or statistician. I know what I read. I need to meet another scientist. Do you have one I could meet? There is a good chance he could be gay too, so therefore the evidence would be overwhelming. PS, saw you crossing Swanston Street from a tram at the weekend I think. Dressed in white? That would be a stalker credit to me.

Adaptive Radiation said...

AO: a gay astrophysicists? Wow. That's like super rare!

Andrew: Most scientists I know are straight. Hmmm...I can't remember what I did last weekend. I think i stayed at home all day on Saturday working on my grant proposal and then grocery shopping at Docklands on Sunday. It was likely some other tall, bald asian guy you saw then. And Andrew, it's hardly fair, with a camera covering your identifying features, no opportunity to reciprocate ;-)

Ann O'Dyne said...

I am probably not accurate there - they run the synchrotron, and it might as well be astrophysics for all I understand about it.
They give great parties too.

FletcherBeaver said...

I know a gay biologist... does that count?

Marshall Stacks said...

let's face it FletcherB - there is gay Everything because gay is not a minority. never has been.