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Recognizing the LGBTQ+ community at Stanford: “We should be a beacon”

building at Stanford School of Medicine. A "Stanford Medicine" banner with rainbow border hangs on the railing, and the steps are painted in rainbow colors
Photos by Luke Girard / Thru Luke's Lens
Oct 10 2019
Education, Fellow, Stanford, Students

Carolyn Dundes came to Stanford Medicine to learn about brain development and stem cell biology, not to be a spokesperson for gender minorities. But, as an out and proud transgender scientist, Dundes will continue to do so until it's no longer necessary.

Some days, Dundes, a third-year PhD student, doesn't have the energy to teach people that "transgender" means the gender you were assigned at birth doesn't match the one you identify with. Nor does Dundes always feel comfortable correcting people who use the wrong gender pronouns. Dundes is gender nonbinary, which is to say not male or female, and uses the gender neutral they/them pronouns instead of "she" or "he."

In those moments, Dundes is grateful to be at a place like Stanford, where there's a growing sense of community that they've come to rely on for support./p>

Carolyn Dundes is a 2018 Stanford Graduate Fellow.

VPGE supports diversity, inclusion, and equity on campus, from individual student fellowships to grants for student-led initiatives.