Show Notes

In this episode Samah and Michelle welcome david wolfpaw to the podcast where the discussion centers on Pride Month, but also outlines some of the challenges that those in the queer community still encounter in life and in the tech community. Special thanks to david for sharing with us and helping us to learn and grow.

Episode Transcript

[00:00:02] Welcome, everybody, to Underrepresented In Tech. Good morning, good afternoon. Good morning, david, our guest. Good afternoon, Samah. It’s good to have you both. Of course, Samah, my wonderful co-host. And david, thank you for joining us as our guest this week.


[00:00:44] Speaker C: Of course. Good morning. Thank you for having me.


[00:00:48] Speaker B: For me, it will be a good afternoon, but welcome, david, and it’s nice to have you. And my lovely co-host, Michelle. How are you?


[00:00:55] Speaker A: I’m good, thank you. How are you both?


[00:00:57] Speaker B: Good.


[00:01:00] Speaker C: Doing well. I’ve returned home from my trip to Camp Montclair, where I saw Michelle.


[00:01:05] Speaker A: We had a hug.


[00:01:05] Speaker C: I’m just getting back into the swings of things.


[00:01:09] Speaker A: We shared a hug or two. I’m not going to lie. I love my time with david. He’s a good friend of WordPress. Yeah, just more than just what people think, you know, we have the ability to make true friendships, and I absolutely love that about WordPress. And david had an idea that we should, that I was already thinking about, like, gosh, it’s Pride month. We should do something with Pride month. But I hadn’t even talked to some about it yet. And david’s like, hey, what are you guys doing for Pride month? I’m like, what are you doing Tuesday morning, david? So here we are. Happy pride. Happy pride. Happy pride. I love it. It’s awesome. We’ve had a parade here. Last weekend, I was in Montclair, but my friends were sending me pictures of the Rochester Pride parade, which was super fun. And Buffalo had a parade, too. And so, my drag friends in Buffalo, I watched their videos and their images on Instagram. And, I mean, I love a good celebration, especially for a good cause, but welcome, david. And yeah, same here. Absolutely.


[00:02:09] Speaker C: And you can in Orlando.


[00:02:11] Speaker A: Go ahead, please.


[00:02:12] Speaker C: I’ll say in Orlando, we do our pride parade in October because it coincides with the national day of coming out. So our event is called Come Out with Pride, which is National Day. Coming out in October. Oh, no. Is it the 10th or the 11th? I think it’s October 11. Sorry if I’m getting that wrong by today. And so it’s a lot better for the terrible summer weather in Florida to be outside and do a big event in October than in June.


[00:02:44] Speaker B: Yeah, here in the Netherlands, we already started in June. We had the parade in Utrecht, but we are also famous with an August to do an Amsterdam, the canal that everyone in the boat celebrates and enjoys. And also in June, WordCamp Europe, a lot of celebrations. So, yeah, nice.


[00:03:05] Speaker A: Yeah. I love the idea that we have these months dedicated to things like we have Black History Month and Women’s month. We have our Women’s History Month. We have Pride month. But it also reminds us that it shouldn’t be contained to just, you know, many days, whatever. I guess none are actually just. Yeah, anyway, 2029 every. Every four years. That’s right.


But that, you know, it’s a good reminder for us, and it’s a good way to really champion different communities, but that we should also remember that people that fit within those communities don’t only exist one month of the year. So, I want to say that and preface that. That while we are here talking about pride, that the issues that we talk about and the things that we celebrate are prevalent all twelve months of every year. And so to be mindful of that, after. After the pride month is gone, our friends in the LGBTQ community still exist, still have issues that they deal with, which we’re going to talk through some of today, and still have things that they’re proud of, no pun intended, of course, you know, that are making incredible strides and moves. And so please think about everybody all the time, because all of our friends need our support all year long.


[00:04:25] Speaker C: Absolutely agree. Yeah. I think of it as a time that we can coordinate to celebrate. So, not necessarily saying, like, this is the only month that these things matter, but, you know, we can set our calendars a little bit and say, hey, we’re all going to do something now. Exactly. You know, I want to see my friends every day, but every once in a while, I have to pull out the calendar, and we have to get on the group chat and be like, are we good on Friday? Are we good on Saturday? So we all decided, hey, we’re good with June. June is when we’re going to have parades.


[00:04:58] Speaker A: Exactly. Which is kind of funny in a way, david, because when Allie and I had an episode early on about pride, and we were like, it’s Pride month. You’re like, well, not in Florida. It’s not like, oh, I didn’t know that. But generally speaking, pride month is celebrated in more places than that, I would think in June. But then like, let’s celebrate it in October, too. I love that.


[00:05:25] Speaker C: Yeah, no, absolutely. And, I mean, there’s a variety of different.


There are a variety of different days of remembrance and days of visibility.


So, like myself, as an agender, my individual day of visibility was three weeks ago now. So, you know, even though it happened before this. But then again, they just happen at different times throughout the year for various different reasons, you know, different groups, different setups.


[00:05:52] Speaker A: So you just used a term that I am not familiar with. I’ve heard transgender, I’ve heard non-binary. Can you explain what agender is, please?


[00:06:00] Speaker C: Yes. So maybe people are familiar with the term atheist, and I’m pronouncing it like that with more emphasis on the a to acknowledge, to say without, so saying without gender.


The idea is. Or the reason that it feels important to me is that I am not.


A lot of people who are not very familiar with trans individuals and the trans community really consider it as a binary. By that, I mean, oh, well, then you were born as a man, but you’re really a woman. Or you were born as a woman, but you’re really a man. Or. And I’m using that language specifically here. This is what I would perceive the layperson who isn’t already inclined to dislike us as using. There is a wide array of ways that people would describe themselves and characterize themselves, their gender, sexuality, sexual orientation, and myself. I’ve just found over the years that what feels more right to me is something I don’t.


It’s not something that I consider a part of myself. So that’s why I say without.


[00:07:24] Speaker A: I love that and am always learning new things. And I’ve often said that I make mistakes as a learning, growing individual. And, you know, I have mispronounced people in the past and apologized for it because it slipped out, even though I know somebody new that I’ve met is non-binary, and that’s their terminology for themselves.


And so I have said he or she instead of they or them, and then I immediately apologize, not necessarily publicly, depending on the situation. Right. I don’t want to call necessarily a lot of attention, but I’ve returned to the person and said, please forgive me. I am a learning, growing individual, and I am endeavoring to do better. And that is always met with, thank you for acknowledging, first of all, that you made a mistake and secondly, trying to do better. Right.


Because we are learning, growing individuals, and it’s not something that those of us in western New York who are cis white people grew up with terminologies like that. And so, yeah, it’s learning and growing, and I think I do better every day, but I appreciate people who want to educate and give me the time and energy to learn. So I appreciate you, david, because you are always patient and kind and seek to.


[00:08:48] Speaker C: I appreciate you as well. Thank you. And I just want to interject and say that, uh, you know, you mentioned where you live and where you grew up. But I don’t think that. I mean, I’m not. Not to say that some places have a bit more knowledge than others, but for myself personally, I didn’t. You know, when I was growing up, uh, there are a lot of terms that are commonly used now that, some of them didn’t exist or certainly, you know, weren’t in common usage. And the reason I think about that is that there are a lot of people who have different language that they feel is important, whether it’s language that they do or do not use.


So, as an example, most people will use the term transgender now, but there also are plenty of people who were alive and calling themselves things like transvestite, transsexual, and other languages that are not as common usage now, but that’s still valid. And certainly, I would not try to tell somebody what they can describe themselves as because that’s the whole point.


So I did not learn any language around nonbinary or any of the other many ones that I could list off until I was. I mean, until some of these, until I was in my thirties. And so the reason I wanted to bring that up is I don’t think that all of this is immutable for anybody. But I also think that it’s all right if you don’t yet have the language for something. Quite honestly, for a lot of queer people, finding the language and finding the communities is part of that queer joy. And I also use the word queer specifically because, again, that’s another one that has a history that was used as a slur for some people. Some people consider it reclaimed, some not. I think that most people I know consider it a positive term, and we use it positively and endearingly with one another.


That’s how I describe the big spectrum that I’m in.


[00:11:03] Speaker A: I think some of it has to do with age, too, right? So, like, I’m 55 years old, and so I had a different experience in my youth around all of the issues where and when I grew up. It was very much a closeted thing. And nobody was celebrated in my community. They were chastised. And so, I grew up thinking I knew nobody who was gay. And yet, so many of my high school friends are out as gay and happily showing off their spouses and relationships. And I celebrate that now. But you look back, and you’re like, I feel like. I feel sad that they couldn’t, at that point in time, live their authentic selves because of the way that children in that day and age reacted to one another’s differences. And it just. It makes me sad, but I’m happy that they are who they are authentically now. But part of me is Christine.


[00:12:01] Speaker C: I don’t want to keep it that little kid, right?


[00:12:02] Speaker A: Yeah, right.


[00:12:04] Speaker C: I’ll say. I don’t want to keep speaking over Samah. I want to make sure that you jump in as well. But the one thing, just because you keep saying so many things I want to build upon is that there are people, I will say there is a subset of people in the queer community who are doing that thing that some people do with generational conflicts, like, you kids these days have it so easy. I had to be in the closet and everything like that. I love to be the exact, the exact opposite of that. I am in awe, amazed, and so happy. This isn’t for everybody, but there are so many, you know, queer, there are so many trans youth, so many gay kids that are. I feel comfortable now.


It doesn’t always work out. I acknowledge that. But there are so many teenagers now who are expressing themselves in ways that I didn’t even know, let alone would feel comfortable and confident doing at that age. And I’m happy about that. You know, I can. I can bemoan the things that I missed out on when I was younger, but I’m thankful that fewer people have to.


[00:13:11] Speaker A: I love that Samah comes from the european perspective, and I would love to hear some of what your experiences are there around the topics that we’re talking about.


[00:13:23] Speaker B: For me, I’m gonna. I actually have another background, which, I come from the Middle east, which is funny because when I was a teenager, that topic was kind of taboo to talk about. And when I was starting in my twenties, then a couple of friends, they were kind of coming out of the closet and being honest. I will say the young generation, I’m talking about, thirties, twenties, even forties, are more accepting. And that really makes me happy. Of course, we cannot compare what’s happening now, the acceptance there compared to Europe or even the States. In the next couple of years, I hope people will be more relaxed to say it out loud. We don’t have this crazy law against it. So, yeah, in Europe, I will go differently. Totally. I am happy to live in. To live in the Netherlands, one of the first countries supporting gay marriage. And I am really happy that we are at Yoast working with one organization, COC, that one is fighting for.


For LGBT rights since 1946. So that is really amazing.


Also, at the same time, I come from a different background. Also, I love to learn and to educate myself. And it was really funny because two weeks ago, we had an LGBTQ+ introduction on how to become an ally. And for me, I always have difficulties. Like, I’m scared to ask the wrong question. What can you say? And especially about the pronouns that you said earlier, Michelle, you made a mistake. For me, it’s how to say sorry because you want to apologize, and then you exaggerate your apology, and then you make the other person feel comfortable, and then you say, oh, I’m not going to ask it, or I’m not going to say it again. And then you learn how to navigate those things.


[00:15:23] Speaker A: It’s.


[00:15:24] Speaker B: Of course, it’s an amazing learning process, but I think it’s really important to educate people about it, sadly. Also, at the same time, in the Netherlands, the acceptance is a little bit low; the last one or two years are becoming less than before, but the COC. The organization is really working and improving. And I’m not going to brag. I’m going to brag a little bit. Yoast is a partnership with them, so I love you to the maximum. And I think they’re doing great work, especially with asylum.


[00:15:57] Speaker A: There’s.


[00:15:57] Speaker B: There are a million cases. They really help them, especially with same-sex couples or many things they do. Amazing things, so. Yeah, but it’s so different from the states in Europe, and if you’re gonna talk to other parts of the world, we’re not gonna talk to Asian or African because that’s still, sadly, some countries in the dark ages.

[00:16:26] Speaker A: Well, I want to bring this kind of in. Oh, sorry. I want to bring it back to tech, though, david, and you’ve given us it.


[00:16:32] Speaker C: Exactly. Yep.


[00:16:33] Speaker A: A bunch of things. A bunch of things to talk about. And specifically, like, as women, we talk about the tech bros a lot. And how tech bros kind of sit at the top of the pyramid in the tech community and tech companies, and it’s something that you had put on the list of things that are like, maybe we should talk about this, too. And so I’m wondering, what is your take on tech bros as somebody in the queer community?


[00:16:58] Speaker C: Yeah. So the reason I mentioned tech bros specifically is it’s because it’s something that I’ve personally run into problems with. I know other people who have as well that there is a defining culture in the world of technology, especially, I would say, like, in the world of, like, startups and, you know, venture-funded businesses, the kind of businesses that are providing some of the best jobs and technology that you can get, that there are mindsets there that are, I would say, very male dominated in a way that when I say male-dominated, I do mean more like a cis head male-dominated. That can be uncomfortable for many people, and I mean uncomfortable in that.


The times when people actually, it’s very clearly some sort of queerphobia, transphobia, something like that, but also just those little microaggressions that you get from people. And even beyond that, or even before that, the worry that you might have about being your full, authentic self in the workplace. And that’s something that really is a problem for a lot of people who are queer because I go somewhere and I don’t know how is this person going to react to me?


And for myself, I run my own company. And so part of it is, are they going to want to continue working with me or not? If they know this, if you’re looking to get a job in the tech industry, it could well be, am I going to get passed over for this job or for this promotion because of that?


And then, just like any other way that happens in the industry, it also can be kind of insidious that there’s enough plausible deniability that it’s like, oh, no, somebody else was just a better fit for the job or something like that. But it’s really hard to determine whether that’s the case.


Coming out isn’t just a one-time thing. It’s basically what you have to do with everybody throughout your life. And that’s something that there’s a calculated decision to be made every time.


And it’s just one of those emotional tolls that can detract from doing the thing that you want to be doing, which is just doing good work.


We work with an organization in Orlando, and I’m going to name-call them. It’s called the Zebra Coalition. If anyone would like to find an organization that works with queer youth, it is Zebra


My husband and I do donation drives and things with them multiple times yearly. It’s an organization for queer youths who do not have family support, basically homeless queer youth. However, they also serve people who may still have that support but need other things like help with education, help with healthcare, help with job hunting, and things like that. It’s a really great organization, but the reason that I bring them up is years ago, this was even pre-pandemic when everyone started working from home. They asked us to help them set up a few workshops because they knew me as also running our WordPress meetup. And they want to do some workshops to show some of the. When I say youths, I’m talking about their general age range of 14 to 24. So of working age mainly they want to run some workshops on looking for and training for remote jobs.


And the reason that they brought up was specifically for people who were undergoing transition. It’s a lot more comfortable to be able to work from home when you have things going on, whatever the difficulties might be of getting to an office or being around other people.


So, yeah, it’s something that the tech industry could be very useful for if we don’t have unnecessary gatekeeping.


[00:21:08] Speaker A: Yeah, that makes amazing.


You make me think of many things, and the list you gave us has many things. Like, we could definitely have an entire week long workshop, right? That would be awesome. Maybe we should do it anyway; we’ll talk about that later. But, and I’m not kidding when I say that, there’s so much work to be done, and there’s so much I think that allies can do for sure. What are the roles of allies and allyship within WordPress and the tech community? How can straight, white, old women like me be helpful and be an ally to the community?


[00:21:55] Speaker C: I think it could be the same for most any community in that people say, of course, spend time listening more than talking over people. But also you have a really great position. Both of you have great positions to be helpful to people who might not otherwise be able to receive certain opportunities.


I want to be clear and say, I don’t mean so and so, and they’re trans, and you know, we need to hire someone, let’s hire a trans person. But you could be like, I already am comfortable with so and so. I know that they do good work, and, you know, we’d like to give them a shot or something. Basically, it’s, I guess I’m trying to step away from saying, you know, I’m thinking about so many things that are culture wars here in Florida and in the US of, you know, basically calling it affirmative action. You’re just trying to check off a box for diversity. And, you know, no, I’m not saying like, oh, you know, just because this person is queer, hire them.


But, you know, you’re more likely to give someone a chance and say, we have a program at Yoast.


Because I know you have a wide variety of programs that you offer that so many that, you know, I don’t know them. And you might say, like, oh, yeah, we have this one.


You know, that could be right up your alley. Why don’t you take a look at it? I think that’s a good way to be an ally. Ally? Ally. Sorry. Both together, that’s being more open to giving people opportunities. I think it’s a good way to do it. And when you talked about using the wrong language and everything, for pretty much every queer person I know, they say what they want people to do is say sorry or say correct it and then move on.


You don’t need to make it a whole thing because then that can also be another source of discomfort. I feel like I’m being othered, and someone has to change their behavior just for me or something like that. And it’s really just more.


I don’t know. I guess I myself don’t really find it that challenging because I don’t really when I say I don’t find it challenging; I mean, I’m not even going to debate somebody on the historical usage of the word they or something like that. I’m just going to be like, okay, they use. They done.


You can certainly forget, slip up, and, of course, you won’t know for people without asking in advance, but that doesn’t mean that you’re doing any of those things out of malice.


[00:24:32] Speaker B: Well, I love what you said, that it’s okay to make a mistake and apologize, and it’s like, let it go at that moment and learn and move from it. Because I think sometimes people are a little bit scared to talk about it, and I think education, educating people about it, is really important. Important.


I don’t know; maybe because it’s happened in Europe, there was a WordPress event related to LGBT groups. The Spanish community did it. It is called Somos. I don’t know. Am I butchering the name? I think I’m butchering the name. I think that is amazing because they’re trying to connect; I don’t want to say the two communities, but they connect the communities more to each other. And that’s a really good baby step to understand better and share knowledge. You said something about hiring, and it clicked in my brain. Some big companies, sometimes when they want to target a specific group, sometimes they write female candidates are encouraged to apply for this position.


Maybe I’m crossing the line, and I want to apologize for making a mistake earlier. Is it acceptable that a queer is encouraged to apply to this post? Is it okay to say it? Like, if you want to target a specific group or encourage more diversity in your company, is it okay to publish a job post like that?


[00:26:07] Speaker C: In my mind, I mean, yes, I generally think that would be okay. I’m not going to.


Do not use my endorsement here as a blanket endorsement for anything that any company plans on doing.


But I mean to say it would depend upon the language. And I think personally, what I look at most when looking at the makeup of companies and who they are trying to attract is why they’re trying to attract those people. A lot of companies that I know that are queer-owned highlight the fact that they are queer-owned and then also say that they have a preference for that because they understand that there’s already a strong bias against, you know, hiring marginalized people. And so in my mind, you know, I think of it as not, oh, you know, again, the whole, like, oh, we’re going to check a box of diversity or, oh, I can’t, you know, whatever, whatever things people might have more just, uh, I mean, I choose to work with people because I want to do work with those people.


For better or worse, hundreds of thousands of people do all the same things that we do for a living.


And some of them don’t get as many opportunities as others. And so I really don’t see an issue going like, well, I have the position here. Let’s say I’m hiring somebody and will be offering someone a livelihood. I would like to do so and also be more beneficial while doing so.


[00:27:47] Speaker B: Awesome. Thank you for the advice. And it’s like I’m trying to learn, and I want to do better because I love when I see job openings. I know specific targeting for anyone because then you feel like everyone is welcome. So inclusive. But I understand that sometimes companies are really targeting specific groups not to fake diversity but because they really need bad, like a female, let’s say, designer or developer or something. So it took a lot of ages for people like to say it out loud. We need more female forces. We need to make more diversity. And I wish we, as we talked in a couple of episodes, Michelle and I talked about the naked diversity because people see only, like, men and women or people of color or white people, and that’s it. Now, it’s a totally different range. It’s a different range of many things to be diverse in. Yeah, but thanks for the explanation. Thank you.


[00:28:54] Speaker C: Yeah. And when I say you gave me another idea that would be an example of how you want to increase diversity, you could say that this is why it’s part of our company’s mission. We understand. I mean, there are so many studies that have shown that more diverse teams lead to better outcomes, more profitability, and more productivity. And so, I mean, at the end of the day, a corporation is, you know, a business is a business.


They have reasons to exist, and they are not to make us all feel good and happy. And I would not feel that way.


I would not have a problem with a company saying; we’re looking to hire a more diverse group of people because you’re going to make us more money.


I would be proud to be able to say, like, yes, my diversity is a strength, not a weakness.


[00:29:43] Speaker B: Awesome.


[00:29:43] Speaker A: Along those same lines with ethnicity, there was a period of time, and there are still some people who say this, like, well, I don’t see color. I’m colorblind when it comes to ethnicities, and people of color are like, no, I’m Black, or I’m Hispanic. I am a person of color, and that should be acknowledged and embraced for who I am. Is rainbow blindness a thing? Is there? Is there a term, if that’s not the right term, but is there a, like, oh, I don’t care who you love, as long as you do the job? Right. Kind of almost lip service to the queer community. And how do we combat that if it is?


[00:30:21] Speaker C: You know, no, I’ve never heard the term rainbow blindness, but I kind of like it.


[00:30:25] Speaker A: I guess I just coined it. I don’t know. I have to do a little research.


[00:30:28] Speaker C: Yeah, I can’t say that’s something that I personally have experienced or that I normally do. Because, I mean, there’s a diversity and spectrum for everything, but people are more likely to put something into a binary to say, I am a Latin person, I’m a black person. They might be more specific and say, I’m from Puerto Rico. So, like, specific cultures, countries, things like that.


But since there’s already such a wide spectrum for people who are in the queer community, sexuality is a spectrum; gender is a spectrum, things like that. At least, that’s what I think should be non-controversial statements.


I think people are more likely to already.


I think people who are in the queer community are probably more likely to have that rainbow blindness already intrinsically. I guess I might be wording that poorly. What I mean to say is I have a variety of trans people around me. People who are nonbinary, people who are binary, trans, agender people, gender fluid, gender non-conforming, so many different things that, that I’m like, well, all of them are equally valid. So, yeah, I guess what I mean to say is, like, I’m not going to go like, oh, well, I’m fine with, I’m fine with gay people, but I’m not fine with gender fluid people.


[00:32:08] Speaker A: Right.


[00:32:09] Speaker C: I’m sure there’s somebody out there like.


[00:32:10] Speaker A: That, but I’m sure there is too.


Absolutely. Yeah. That just makes you, makes you wonder, like, you know, just how people are perceived and what people prefer, and you could be standing next to somebody else in the queer community and different preferences and language and things, which is basically what you’ve already said. And both are valid, right? Both are valid. I’m allowed to call myself old at 55; other people might say you’re young. I’m like, but I don’t feel young. And I’m allowed to say that I’m old, and I’m allowed to feel old. And tomorrow I might not feel as old as I did today, and that’s still valid, too. So I think my take on it is what people come to you and proclaim who and what they are and how they perceive themselves is valid and that should be respected.


[00:33:01] Speaker C: Yeah. I think it’s just not gatekeeping people. I won’t say you’re not allowed to call yourself old. You must wait until you’re this age to start calling yourself old. You know, that’s not, that’s not something that I can say for anyone else.


[00:33:15] Speaker A: Right.


[00:33:16] Speaker C: I won’t even, I mean, I might, I might give them a side eye, but I’m not going to look at someone younger than me being like, oh, I’m so old, and be like, that’s fair. I understand the feeling. Yeah.


[00:33:28] Speaker A: It’s okay for somebody to call themselves non-binary and another to call themselves agender and maybe mean the same thing or not. And that’s still perfectly valid.


Yeah. Makes sense.


We’re coming up on time, but I don’t want to cut off any ideas. I know you had a list of things. Is there any? If there’s one more thing on the list of topics you really wanted to say today, which would it be and how? How can we help and discuss that?


[00:33:55] Speaker C: I think that. I think that we’ve covered a large portion of the ideas that I had. So I think the only thing really that I would want to leave people with, especially since it’s currently pride month, is being supportive of a community does not mean being supportive of a community when it’s in fashion. And in this case, I mean, yes, it is. I’m not going to be upset about a company changing their logo to a rainbow logo for the month of June.


But I also think that it’s completely understandable to be critical of those companies if they don’t represent that in any other way or at any other time of the year because, unfortunately, there are many companies out there that we can go, oh, it’s nice that you’re saying you support people now, but also just last month you did this thing or you still sell this product that has these issues that we’ve raised to you for years or something, being on the Internet, it can be a bit skewed because we discussed this over the weekend. People will find something to be upset about no matter what. That’s just, I think.


I wouldn’t say the wisdom of the crowd has to say whatever the opposite of that is. You will always find somebody who does not agree with something within a crowd.


But no, in general, I think it’s worth celebrating companies when they start supporting and holding them accountable when they don’t. So I don’t know. That’s my long-winded way of saying I don’t mind seeing a parade float for a bank at Pride, as long as, you know, they actually hire queer employees. And don’t take advantage of them and treat them well.


[00:35:40] Speaker B: I totally agree with you. Yeah, I totally agree. I love. I love what you said, especially at the end, because many companies do it. It’s just, like, so fashionable. Let’s do this. It’s so fashionable. And they do nothing. They don’t even work on the recruitment plan, or they don’t do anything. Only just like, oh, that month. Okay, let’s do it. Let’s take a couple of photos, and that’s it. It’s funny. It reminds me there was a TEDx Talks. I forgot her name.


She was talking. She created the website renting diversity as a joke. And companies were reaching out to her just to rent people so they could look diverse. So, yeah, I think some companies act like that. And I hope if anyone can hear us, please don’t do it. If you want to celebrate it, celebrate it the whole year and also work on your recruitment to be more diverse. Yeah.


[00:36:39] Speaker C: Yeah. My husband works for an insurance company, and they do have a lot of employee resource groups, or ergs, and one of them that he’s a part of is the queer group, and they host events. They have some things planned for both June and October because of where we live. But in addition to that, I know that he is supported at his job.


Even before we were married, I got health insurance with him because his company supported domestic partnerships, which is not something every company does.


So even though we didn’t have that legal paper that we were unable to get at the time, they donate money regularly, both to the organization I mentioned and other organizations. So am I going to say, oh, that absolves any company of everything they do? Sure. They have more than enough skeletons like every other company. But that said, I know that they aren’t just showing up to make themselves look better; they’re trying to make themselves look better and help others.


[00:37:43] Speaker A: Absolutely. And it’s also important, is it not, that those companies, if they have those resource groups, and even if the company doesn’t have a recognized resource group, that they have safe spaces and safe people and reporting capabilities for any kind of infringement against somebody in the queer community as they would any other person.


[00:38:04] Speaker C: Yeah.


[00:38:04] Speaker B: Yeah.


[00:38:05] Speaker C: I’ve seen them at his, via my husband, and via him working from home now. So I’m actually witnessing more of it, seeing that they do have some of those problems, like anywhere. But I have seen, and he’s told me, you know, that they get, they get problems resolved. And so, I’m confident it’s a place where people can be more comfortable to be who they are.


[00:38:26] Speaker A: Yeah. And more.


[00:38:27] Speaker C: And I just want more places to be like that.


[00:38:29] Speaker A: Exactly. Absolutely. Well, david, thank you so much for taking the time to share with us today. I’ve learned more. I think. I think of myself as fairly educated, and educated people know that there’s always more to learn. And I thank you for being somebody who has patience with me and helps me learn, grow, and do better. All the time through your friendship. So thank you very much.


[00:38:56] Speaker B: Thank you.


[00:38:56] Speaker C: I appreciate having a great friend like you, and I can’t wait to see you again at hopefully WordCamp US or something. It’s one of the ones coming up soon.


[00:39:05] Speaker B: But yeah, maybe WordCamp Europe. I’m trying, david, I’m trying to bring you. 


[00:39:13] Speaker C: Not this year because that’s in a month? A few weeks?


[00:39:17] Speaker A: Next week?


[00:39:18] Speaker C: Next week. You know, funny enough. I’m sorry.


[00:39:24] Speaker B: I was going to tell you. It’s an amazing pride month in Italy, in Turin. And there’s an amazing pride party hosted by Yoast, Codeable, and Bluehost. Like, there’s a lot of amazing things. And, of course, I think they sold more than 2500 tickets. So it’s a really big world camp, and you must be advised that it will be awesome to have you once at WordCamp Europe, but you can still buy the ticket. So I’m just not being too busy for you.


[00:39:55] Speaker C: I would love to one of these days.


I actually do have a connection to Italy already, and I would love to go at some point, but that’s just like somebody asked me on Saturday if I was going to WordCamp Canada. They were like, oh, it’s like July 1 or second or something. I’m like, I guess I’m not now. That’s a little bit too close for me to pack my bags and just jump on a plane.


[00:40:18] Speaker A: Yeah. Understandable. But our paths will cross again this year, I’m quite certain.


[00:40:23] Speaker C: Yeah. Thank you both so much for having me. Thank you, just in the first place, for when I brought up the topic, I immediately jumped on board.


[00:40:31] Speaker A: Absolutely. Well, thank you for bringing us the topic, helping us work through it, and bringing some things to light. So very much appreciated.


[00:40:42] Speaker B: Absolutely.


[00:40:44] Speaker A: All right. Well, thank you, david. Thank you, Samah, as always. I love working with you, and I don’t know what our topic is for next time. And we will have at least one week off as we are both traveling to Torino and have vacations and things like that. But we will keep you all updated, and any week we don’t have an episode, we’ll pull one out of the archive for something we want you to hear. So, thank you all for being with us every week. We’ll see you on the next episode of The Underrepresented in Tech.


[00:41:10] Speaker B: Bye-bye.


[00:41:12] Speaker C: Thank you for having me.


Michelle Frechette

Michelle Frechette


Samah Nasr

Samah Nasr