I am a lesbian going into Mechanical Engineering. This blog is meant to do two things: a.) relieve the stress on myself from being closeted, and b.) to let people know that there are members of the LGBT community in engineering fields.

If you want to contact me, you can send an email to lgbt.engineer@gmail.com

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Job Hunting

       It has been two months since I have graduated college (you'd think I'd mention that before, but nah), and still no job. I had applied to 30 positions before graduating, and 40 since graduating. I've only had three phone interviews, and a single in person interview, and no job offers. This is definitely helping with my depression. It's especially frustrating applying to "entry level" positions where the company is asking for 3 years of experience, and a number of qualifications that colleges don't teach. It doesn't help that I've never had an engineering internship, and engineering jobs don't care that I've worked at the same job for four summers in a row.
       Since I am unemployed, I am staying with my parents. Lately my mother has been telling me contradictory statements that are infuriating. Here is a list of what I  mean:

  1. Finding a job is a full time job, spend 7+ hours on it a day.
  2. But also spend 2 hrs a day doing chores around the house
  3. Get outside during the day
  4. Find a hobby to work on, have fun
  5. Go volunteer someplace
  6. Find a job that you love and that gets your foot in the door
  7. Why aren't you trying to find a job? (Entry level biomedical jobs are hard to find/get)
  8. X job you applied for doesn't suit you, I don't know why you applied there.
  9. But why aren't you applying more?

       This cycle has been going on for awhile. I swear she's gone crazy. I'm about to start applying to retail jobs, if I get one maybe then she'll stop bugging me. I guess I expected to have an easy time finding a job once I graduated from engineering, at least that's what everyone made it seem like.  I have known a few engineers who have looked for jobs for 6-12 months before finding anything. We'll see how it goes.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Orange is the New Black S4 SPOILERS

       I don't cry about TV shows usually, but Orange is the New Black managed to make me cry. They killed off my favorite character, Poussey Washington. Another lesbian character has been killed to further the plot. It's also an outrage that she was one of the very few POC lesbians on the show. Her death was also an accident. Just after the scenes of her and Soso were planning their life together. I find it somewhat disgusting that Chapman and Vause are currently happily together. It seems that this death specifically targeted POC lesbians. I should have known the writers would have killed her off. It's sad that I have to type that.

Monday, June 20, 2016

TV Trope: Dead Lesbian

       I loved the show "The 100", it started off great. Interesting premise, interesting character development in seasons one and two, and it even had a strong lesbian lead character: Lexa. Then they killed her off (a scene after she and Clarke made love), after months of the producers clamoring about how LGBT friendly they were. Her death was meaningless, I mean Clarke could have saved her with the equipment in the room. I'll admit I've still kept up with the show, even after they killed off a strong POC lead character (for no reason), mainly because of Raven.
       Anyhow, this made me wonder, why are all the lesbians dead on TV? I looked at the Ultimate Infograph to Dead TV Lesbians and All 158 Dead Lesbians and How the Died by AutoStraddle. The Infograph is a great way to compare the number of lesbian characters to the number of straight characters (the numbers need to be updated a bit). But it doesn't go into detail about networks or death specifics like the complete list does. So I went through the 158 Lesbian list and came up with the graphs at the end of the section. This list focuses on live action TV, and does not include any Western animated series or anime.
       In Figure 1 the number of lesbian characters killed off has been increasing dramatically in the past four years. 2016 looks like it might be a record year for lesbian TV deaths, since it is already more than half of 2015 deaths. It would be interesting to compare the number of surviving lesbian characters in each year, but that would require a lot more data finding.
       Figure 2 shows the types of deaths that kill the lesbian characters. I knew that getting shot was a common way for writers to kill of lesbian characters. I did not expect to see categories of explosion, bludgeoning, and throat slitting to be so popular. For graph clarity the disease category covers lung cancer, heart attacks, etc. This is also applied to the murdered and shot category. Some of the categories in "Other" are childbirth, electrocution, drowning, being eaten by monsters,drug overdose, etc.
       It was actually unnerving to see Figure 3, and how many deaths were intentional acts of violence. Many of these were carried out by ex-lovers/husbands, etc. The "N/A" category exists since some minor characters were killed in a manner that makes the motivation unclear.
      Finally Figure 4 shows the number of lesbians killed off on a given network. ABC is currently the worst offender in terms of death toll. However, the CW's Lexa death has been the most controversial, and the most talked about in recent years. The "Other" category is networks that have had under 5 lesbian character deaths, and are generally non-US networks.
       Now it is nice having representation on TV. However, when I begin watching a show and I see a lesbian character and think "I wonder how they are going to kill off this one." or "I'd better not get too attached." there is a problem. I wish that more live-action shows took the approach that many children's animated shows (i.e Bubbline, Korrasami, Garnet). It's ridiculous that kids shows have alive and happier lesbian couples than live action, more adult shows. This theme in TV reinforces old fashioned thinking that only young girl/school girls are allowed to be gay and once you get older you need to be straight. If it's one thing we can thank Jason Rothenberg for it's that Hollywood will hopefully think twice (or more) about killing off lesbian characters for "shock value". Hopefully we can expect more lesbian characters who live throughout a series in the future.

Fig 1: Graph displaying number of lesbian character deaths on TV per year.
*2016 data only from January to June.

Fig. 2: Method of death, with corresponding number.

Fig. 3: If the actions that resulted in a death were intentional by another character (i.e Lexa was accidentally shot, so her death was not intentional).

Fig. 4: Number of killed off lesbians on each network

Monday, June 13, 2016

Orlando Tragedy

       It isn't something that we, the LGBT community, ever thought would happen. But Sunday morning a lone gunman, Oman Mateen, open fired an automatic rifle the gay club Pulse. 50 people were killed inside the club, 53 people were injured. These numbers make it the worst mass shooting in US history. The media is calling this a terror attack. In my mind it is not a terror attack, it is a hate crime. Mateen's ex-wife stated that he was a non-practicing Muslim. He specifically targeted a gay club; if he wanted an act of terror he could have gone to another nightclub.
       This event will most likely bring about a phase of Islamophobia, especially considering it is an election year. We all need to remember that Islam is a religion of peace, and that it is an extremely small minority that are extremists. Calling every Muslim a terrorist is like calling every Christian a member of the KKK. Do not punish Muslims for the small minority of extremists. No matter what religion you follow, please remember that all religions tell people to love your neighbor, do no harm to others, be peaceful to one another.
      I will be donating to the Trevor Project and to the GoFundMe for the Orlando victims and families. I want a world where everyone has a safe spot that everyone can go to. Part of me wonders if the recent killing off of LGBT characters in TV shows have influenced this attack. But that is a discussion for another time. Please stay safe and be kind to one another.

       Trevor Project Donation:  https://give.thetrevorproject.org/checkout/donation?eid=63307 
       Orlando GoFundMe:  https://www.gofundme.com/PulseVictimsFund