From: Out in STEM
Date: April 12, 2023
Subject: oSTEM: Final GMM Game Night

oSTEM logo.

Queers Read This!

Are you Team Pearl or Team Girly Teengirl? [reply here]

    Spring finally decided to make its debut this week, and just in time for the coming holidays! The finale of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 15 airs this Friday and oSTEM debates over #TeamDuckWalk vs #TeamSasha have reached a stalemate which might need to be settled in our corresponding GMM finale. Factoring in the Nicki Minaj x Kim Petras summer anthem premiering next Friday, the coming days have the potential to out-queer corporate logos & pfps on June 1st!

This Week

Game Night w/ oSTEM This Friday, April 14, from 5-6 pm at Genesee 308!

     As a much-needed brain break following our Spring Speaker Series, our last GMM for the semester will be a classic Game Night! Thanks to our friends at the Univerty’s Simulation Gaming Association, we will have a variety of games for us to enjoy. We’ll also have some VR headsets from Studio X and our notorious oSTEM snack stocks have been refilled (now featuring pizzas). We’re looking forward to seeing you Friday, feel free to bring friends (or come for the first time, no judgment) to take advantage of our final/casual GMM! 

Coming Up

- Queer Highlights Update
    Speaking of much-needed brain breaks, the next two Newsletter’s Queer Highlight (last section of our emails) will be brought to you by Ellie and Nhuja, respectively. They’re each preparing a queer gem to share with us, giving Kevin a lil break from overcomplicated rhetorical analyses. 
- Website
    Browse through our CCC website to take advantage of our compiled Resources & Opportunities (scholarships, conferences, etc.), read more about our iconic E-Board, and find other general oSTEM links. The website is regularly updated, if you spot any issues or know of an R&O we haven’t included, our Feedback Form is always open!
On Campus
- LabArchives Training Workshops
    As a UR student, you have access to various products and services free of charge that the University offers for institution-wide use (browse through IT’s list of software). LabArchives products are one of these covered services, helping you manage both research labs and lab classes (and it’s a good skill for your resume, especially coming off our previous research-focused GMM)! To help you learn more about what LabArchives the University will be hosting a series of workshops starting with Introduction to LabArchives Electronic Lab Notebooks next Tuesday, April 18, from 2-3 pm. In the meantime, you can find more information about LabArchives on the RCL website.
- Undergraduate Research Initiative Award: Due November 17, 2023
    Speaking of research resources, the University is accepting applications for their Undergraduate Research Initiative Award, helping recognize excellence in the early phases of research (either through the initiation and organization of a project leading towards a senior thesis, capstone project, or independent research project). 
- Event & Classroom Management Hiring
    The university’s backbone, ECM, will be booked and busy over Commencement weekend, May 12-14, and is looking for assistants to help with the various ceremonies involved. Commencement Assistants get extended on-campus housing (May 15 at noon), if you’ll be on campus and interested in this lil position ($15/hr), reach out to Kevin (model ECM employee) for a shoutout. 
- American Chemical Society Symposium Presenters Needed
    The chair of the ACS Pride subdivision, Dr. Sambuddha Banerjee, is organizing an LGBTOIA2S+ in STEM symposium which will take place in the Fall 2023 ACS meeting in SF. Dr. Banerjee is soliciting abstracts from undergraduate researchers for ~15-minute oral presentations during the symposium. For more information on eligibility and logistics, reach out to Ellie (local chemist).

In The News

• The GOP’s War on Trans Kids: The Stranger + TFP Newsletters
    Inexcusable, transphobic legislation continues to pass and enforce outdated gender narratives citing other nations’ broken procedures. At its best, access to gender-affirming care has only had an ignorant perception of transitioning like the DSM-5’s (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) invasive formula determining if someone’s ‘trans enough’ for medical gender-affirming care. The Stranger’s analysis of Europe’s healthcare, which GOP politicians cited as “more liberal democracies” justifying their poorer plans in care accessibility, shows the failure to understand and be comfortable with gender fluidity is an international issue. As has become routine with our light overview of trans legislation, linked above are the Trans Formations Project Newsletters which include action items, updates on specific bills, and good progress developments as well.  
• RuPaul’s Drag Race & The ACLU’s Drag Defense Fund: ACLU
    The world eagerly awaits as Friday approaches and we get closer to finding out who will be America’s next drag superstar. Last week’s episode was the regular penultimate reunion special showing us drag delusion infections, Sasha's mothering, and Major Intestinal Blockage. Ru and the girls also gave the ACLU’s Drag Defense Fund a shoutout, prefacing the episode’s silly light-hearted banter by addressing the ignorant politicians policing drag artists, instead of gun violence, under the guise of ‘protecting children’ and calling to action fans of the show. It is refreshing to see the show’s outspoken political stance going beyond platforming various queer stories. 

Performing Gender (Part I): Sex, Drag, and Male Roles

 “... [G]ender norms are not fixed in stone for all time, but are constituted by a collection of unwritten regulations that are constantly evolving through the performative repetition of their behavioral premises, and constantly vary according to the contextual specifics of class, race, and geographical location. Thus, while we cannot arbitrarily step outside of the binary gender framework and simply "choose" our own ways of being, a degree of individual agency may come into play through our modified repetition of the existing gender models available to us. For example, a woman who comes to feel oppressed (in whatever way and with whatever degree of consciousness) by social expectations of femininity may begin to challenge them by modifying or replacing them with some adapted version of "masculine" behavior or attitudes.”
- Diane Torr (Sex, Drag, and Male Roles)

TW: Paragraph 3 holds brief mentions of death, violence, hate crimes, SA/R, and self-injurious behavior.

    In observance of the upcoming RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 15 finale, this week’s Highlight is looking at the art form of drag. As much as I’d like to dive right into Drag Race, I know to better appreciate its current status we should start with its Ballroom heritage, appreciate its BIPOC pioneers, and uphold/tear down the patriarchy through it (?). In true oSTEM fashion, however, we’re breaking it up into parts to further reduce our words:Newsletter ratio. 

    Ballroom was a queer safe haven from America in the 70s, and an incubator for various forms of self-expression, during which performance drag was able to flourish. Pose’s Blanca put it best: “Balls are a gathering of people who are not welcome to gather anywhere else, a celebration of a life that the rest of the world does not deem worthy of celebration.” It shielded queer individuals from the normalized intolerance and injustices posed by their mere existence outside, all the while an ignorant administration neglected the damage of the HIV/AIDS epidemic as it ravaged the community’s numbers and hope. Ball’s protection from the cruel outside world was fortified by the unity and freedom queer people felt while on the inside. 
    Nevertheless, the community would often be reminded of the shielding Ballroom bubble’s fragility, as hate crimes, assault, manipulation, rape, and murder persisted and no justice would ever follow through in their experiences. It is vital to acknowledge the defense mechanism and escapist nature which Balls, houses, and other queer cultures drew from, especially because of the limited queer history available to us. Ballroom is very much still alive and a thriving environment that continues to harbor queer arts. While it infiltrated mainstream culture with true representation (not just through influence or subtle code), our right to public spheres has yet to be fully established (both from the outside with legislation, or from the inside with misogyny, transphobia, etc.). 

    Authors, Diane Torr and Stephen Bottoms evaluate gender performance through drag in their book Sex, Drag, and Male Roles: Investigating Gender as Performance, considering what the art form can teach, and what aesthetic, political, and personal questions it raises. Their book follows Torr’s pioneering of NYC’s 70s and 80s drag king scene, analyzing her ‘man-for-a-day’ workshops aimed at cis women seeking help navigating a misogynist workforce. Her work enlarges the conversation now into the drag’s potential for political utility & application, blurring of gender lines, and allowing for gender permutation for everyone. 
    In disconnecting sex from gender, Torr draws from Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble proposing temporal-based gender constructs, concurring good gender performance’s dependence on a “collection of unwritten regulations”. Interestingly, Torr’s contextualization establishes the repetition of gender norms as upholding their dynamics and questions the need for drag’s gender subversion. However, this is where Torr disagrees with Butler, pointing out her conflation of sex and gender, even in her other works like Female Masculinity, and analysis of drag only accounting for drag queens, not kings. Drag’s employment of gender subversion does rely on repetition but its disregard for sex and trivialization of “good gender performance” erode binary separation.
Racers, start your engines!

oSTEM Bi-Weekly GMM Logo


oSTEM Bi-Weekly GMM

Friday, April 14, 2023
5:00pm - 6:00pm
Genesee 308, 500 Joseph C. Wilson Blvd, Rochester, NY 14627, United States
Add to Google Cal, Outlook, Yahoo, iCal

Our bi weekly member meeting



oSTEM General Feedback Form

This is oSTEM's main form for you to submit any comments, questions, suggestions, opportunity submissions, and/or feedback. You can choose to submit anonymously (CCC may ask you to log in, but that's just to ensure it's from a UR student, not a random internet person) or share your name/email. 

If you run into any issues with the form, please email us at so we can fix it right away.

Complete the Form


Newsletter's Poll Response Survey

Complete the Form