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Celebrating Pride Month with Out in Tech

Happy Pride Month! Community is so important, especially in these times, and we invite you to join us in celebrating Out in Tech this month.

Happy Pride Month! Last year, I shared resources and highlighted organizations doing awesome work in the LGBTQ+ community. This year, I’m excited to tell you more about Out in Tech, an organization that Automattic has partnered with for the past four years. I’m proud to say that this year, the Queeromattic Employee Resource Group — an employee-led collective for LGBTQ+ initiatives at Automattic — is co-sponsoring this partnership for the first time. 

“We’re a global nonprofit community of 40,000 members working toward a world in which LGBTQ+ people are empowered, well-represented in the tech industry, and have full agency, from intern to CEO,” says Gary Goldman, the Senior Program Director of Out in Tech. As the Queeromattic Lead, I’ve been fortunate to benefit from the wonderful and empowering community Out in Tech has created through their Qorporate Roundtables, vibrant Slack community, and virtual hangouts in light of COVID-19. It brings me great joy to share more about Out In Tech with you all in this recent interview with Gary. 

Q. Tell us a bit about yourself! How do you identify? How did you get started with Out in Tech?

I identify as a cisgender gay man. Before Out in Tech, I worked as a United Nations consultant for five years in data management. During that time, I was a volunteer for Out in Tech as head of the New York chapter. It has been a dream come true to transition to being a staff member and work for my actual favorite organization out there. 

Q. Can you share any exciting things Out in Tech has planned for Pride?

The unsung heroes of the LGBTQ+ community are the activists working on the ground in the 70+ countries where being queer is illegal (and sometimes even punishable by death). 

On June 20, we’ll be building WordPress.com websites for 10 incredible organizations in these countries; they’re planning on using these sites to advocate for policy change, grow their community, and fundraise.

We’re also hosting a virtual Pride series the second week of June for those working in customer experience (June 10) as well as a day of workshops for folks currently navigating the job market (June 13).  To learn more, visit outintech.com.

Q. Is there one person you’ve helped over the years (or a project you’ve worked on) that stands out in your memory?

I’ve noticed that a lot of people in the LGBTQ+ tech community have been eager to leverage their skills to make the world a better place. 

Derrick Reyes was an early recipient of the Out in Tech Coding Scholarship. Since graduating, they’ve been leveraging their new skills to create an incredible company called Queerly Health, which helps you find and book LGBTQ+ friendly health and wellness practitioners. It was a real full-circle moment to welcome them as a panelist at an Out in Tech event back in January. 

Q. Has partnering with Automattic helped your work?

This partnership has made all the difference in Out in Tech’s work, and that’s not an understatement. When I was a United Nations consultant, I traveled to dozens of countries where being LGBTQ+ is outlawed, and where activists needed a digital platform to amplify their voices. 

WordPress turned that vision into a reality. 

Since 2017, the Out in Tech Digital Corps has built over 100 WordPress.com websites for activists in 50+ countries. 

Automattic provides these activists with hosting, themes, and domains free of charge. We also have Automatticians support us technically during the Digital Corps build days — a special shout-out to Mindy Postoff, who has been to over 10 build days!

Simply put, Out in Tech is powered by Automattic, and we’re incredibly grateful to Marlene Ho, Megan Marcel, and Matt Mullenweg for making it all happen. 

Q. In this time when organizations have pivoted to digital events, can you tell us about your virtual events and other ways to participate in your community?  

Out in Tech’s mission is to create opportunities for our members to advance their careers, grow their networks, and leverage tech for social change. During COVID-19, we’re still doing just that — but digitally. 

Every week, members have an opportunity to hear from dozens of companies that are actively hiring and to network with each other during Queer and Trans People of Color (QTPOC) socials and even RuPaul’s Drag Race viewing parties. We also have virtual events featuring prominent LGBTQ+ tech leaders, such as Arlan Hamilton, the founder of Backstage Capital, and Jeff Titterton, the chief marketing officer of Zendesk. 

When it comes to leveraging tech for social change, 100 volunteers built websites for organizations in Senegal, Uganda, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe (among others), and we’re doing it again in June. This spring, our mentorship program connected 83 LGBTQ+ youth to tech mentors for eight weeks. They’re graduating at the end of this month, and we hope some of you reading this will hire them as interns!

Q. What do you look for when partnering with organizations and LGBTQ+ activists around the world?

Out in Tech accepts applications from LGBTQ+ groups on every continent on a rolling basis. When our Digital Corps leadership team reviews applications, they assess four main criteria: 

  • Does the LGBTQ+ organization have a good reason for needing a website? This can range from needing to crowdsource input from the community to applying for grants. 
  • Do they already have a website and just need a revamp? We only select organizations who either do not have an existing web presence, or whose website is very challenging to navigate. 
  • Has the organization been around for more than one year? We want to ensure that the groups we support are established and are going to stick around for the long haul after we build their shiny new website. 
  • Does the organization have at least a few volunteers to keep the website active and up to date once we deliver a user guide to them? We regularly track and monitor which sites are active and how they’re being used.  This helps us to continuously improve our efforts to unite the global LGBTQ+ community.

Community is so important, especially in these times, and I’m doubly thankful for people like Gary who have helped the LGBTQ+ community remain strong. What organizations are you celebrating this month? How are you creating community from afar? Share in the comments below!

At WordPress.com, we strive to be a platform that democratizes publishing so that anyone can share their stories regardless of income, gender, politics, language, or where they live in the world. This month is a great reminder for why we work hard to expand the open web.


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27 Comments

Comments are closed.

  1. Dan Woog

    Bravo! Proud to hear of this initiative, and prouder than ever to be a WordPress blogger!

    Liked by 18 people

  2. Msdedeng

    Vibrant pictures, love it!

    Liked by 15 people

  3. thesteampropelledartist

    Excellent

    Liked by 11 people

  4. Cour-Tube Official

    Nice work here.

    Liked by 7 people

  5. Ab

    Great initiative. Happy Pride!

    Liked by 12 people

  6. Michael Sean Erickson

    Open collaboration is the key to personal success and, perhaps even more importantly, positive social change. Every person deserves in virtue of their humanity to be celebrated for who they are.

    Liked by 9 people

  7. thehornypotter

    Love the interview and what they are trying to do.Travelled a lot and we as a community have it so much better than other countries.Thanks for sharing

    Liked by 8 people

  8. Swagata Banerjee

    Happy Pride Month! Loved it!

    Liked by 11 people

  9. therezasebastian

    This sounds great!
    Great initiative and support for this community.
    And it is a great look forward for other nations too.
    Go ahead
    Love from India ❤

    Liked by 8 people

  10. therezasebastian

    Loved it ❤

    Liked by 7 people

  11. Kellie

    Oh I love the picture of the lights across the audience! 👌

    Liked by 9 people

  12. latent_strum04

    Great initiative ❤️
    Keep up the good work✨

    Liked by 9 people

  13. sumanchetwani10

    Proud proud!!!!

    Liked by 9 people

  14. Mia Winhertt

    Acceptance is key! Therefore, every step counts. Very good initiative. 🙂

    Liked by 8 people

  15. Mia Winhertt

    Acceptance is key! Evey step counts. Very good initiative. 🙂

    Liked by 7 people

  16. Bryan Wagner

    I cannot thank you enough for sharing this. Information/communication/socialization/empowerment are so intricately connected. It’s exciting knowing this is in process.

    Liked by 7 people

  17. victoriarose002

    Love this, it is so vital for there to be an accepting international community, so those who are in very nonaccepting countries have a safe space, even if it is online.

    Liked by 7 people

  18. Su Papua

    Love it

    Liked by 10 people

  19. Meenal Jhala

    Way to go WordPress and Out in Tech. Congratulations!

    Liked by 7 people

  20. eloisekaye

    Happy pride month ❤️

    Liked by 7 people

  21. bibliofeline

    Happy Pride everybody! Be yourself!

    Liked by 7 people

  22. Ally

    Happy Pride Month!!🌈

    Liked by 6 people

  23. branddazzlinglife

    🌈🌈🌈❤️from Miami

    Liked by 6 people

  24. andy2mz

    Happy Pride month

    Liked by 5 people

  25. Naysa Shrivastava

    Amazing

    Liked by 6 people

  26. Pierre Claver Niyomwungere

    Very nice

    Liked by 5 people

  27. Kowsia Sakthivel

    Wow !

    Liked by 6 people

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