Google is a company founded on the principal of 10x. Moonshot ideas. Ideas that are so implausible, the initial reaction is to laugh at the preposterousness of it all. From self-driving cars to internet-supplying balloons, ideas may seem implausible but the implementation of those ideas is not impossible.
When a colleague and fellow Gaygler initially told me about her idea to bring 50 Gayglers from all over the world to our India office, in support of our 4 out Indian Gayglers, I thought the idea was amazing. And implausible.
Three months later, the implausible became the possible. 50 Gayglers from around the world congregated together in Hyderabad, India for a week of LGBT focused events including but not limited to a Transgender Monologue, leadership panels, an HRC briefing, LGBT movie screenings, Bollywood dance lessons, interactive LGBT focused plays, a lunch time flashmob and this cake:
The week commenced with a 4am hotel check-in, quick shower and off to the office we go! Of course this is Google so the first thing we do upon arriving is have a delicious and authentic Indian breakfast.
We then have a security briefing, where we learn two things:
- Remember to look right before crossing the street…and probably left too…and just don’t panic when crossing.
- Don’t accept a free massage, but do get a $5 60 minute massage at the office.
We all promptly run to the massage area to book our basically free massages, which turns out to be quite the cultural experience. While I eagerly await my massage, the receptionist gives me grape juice. Then she gives me disposable underwear and a cloth to tie around my chest. Both of which my masseuse immediately takes off, upon beginning the session. The rest of the massage was a very intimate, oiley experience, where I learned a chest massage really encompasses the entire chest.
I didn’t hate it.
In between the unbelievably tasty food and $5 massages, we all had no shortage of magic moments.
For those who have been reading my blog since the study abroad days in 2008, you know I tend to word vomit on the pages, but for once, I am truly at a shortage of words. The level of connectivity, welcoming, support and warmth that came out of a work trip is like nothing I have ever experienced. After a week of sharing our coming out stories, work experiences and general life journeys, those 50 Gayglers from across the world and the local Indian Googlers feel like so much more than colleagues. These colleagues and friends bring true meaning to the phrase “He/she is family” once you find out someone is gay, just like yourself.
It was an incredible experience to be surrounded by a group of people who come from different cultures and have diverse backgrounds but yet all share the same goal to make the world a better place, one step at a time.
Next up: India, Part 2. Less warm fuzzy feelings, more getting real in India. Where Part 1 had personal drivers, Part 2 will have rickshaws. Where Part 1 had classy meals, Part 2 will have Delhi Belly.