16 months ago, I moved from Texas to San Francisco to work for Google and change my life.
15 months and 29 days ago, I sent an email to the Women Gaygler (Gay Googler) email alias, asking to meet my fellow Gayglers.
15 months ago, I attended my first Lesbians Who Tech Happy Hour, in San Francisco. I was simultaneously impressed and terrified by the sheer number of women at the Happy Hour.
9 months ago, I helped plan Google’s involvement in the San Francisco Pride Parade.
6 months ago, I read a line in Google’s Employee Resource Group (ERG) Newsletter, stating the Diversity organization was allocating additional budget to the ERGs who pitched the best ideas. I had absolutely no idea what I was going to pitch but I knew I wanted the women Gayglers to get a portion of that budget.
Shortly thereafter, I was introduced to Leanne Pittsford, the founder of Lesbians Who Tech, the SF startup which hosted the many Happy Hours I had been consistently attending when I was feeling brave. Leanne told me she was planning to put on the first ever Lesbians Who Tech Summit and a partnership was made. With Leanne’s help, we pitched the idea to Google, went through several selection rounds, and were awarded $25k to make this dream a reality.
After six months of conference calls, hurdles, decisions and holding our breath while counting ticket sales, the day finally arrived.
The concern our 800 capacity venue was going to look empty turned into “will our venue be able to hold everybody?!”
The concern of “what happens if we get no sponsors besides Google?” turned into 20 corporate sponsorships.
All the worries melted away when we arrived at the Castro Theatre, and witnessed the 795 attendees trickling in. The room was not only filled with Bay Area individuals, but also people from the UK, NYC, Seattle, Jamaica, and even a Gaygler from Dublin who flew in for the event!
Being surrounded by almost 800 members of the family, hearing speakers talk about their 20+ year fight for equality, learning about social good companies dreamt up by lesbian entrepreneurs, and simply connecting with people like me made it all worth it.
The day was full of magic moments, human connections and also I found my future wife (she just doesn’t know it yet).
A few quotes from the #lwtsummit Twitter hashtag:“Big hug to all the people that made the #LWTsummit happen. On my way back to Austin very inspired” “Not exaggerating to say that #lwtsummit may have sparked something inside of me with the potential to change my life. THANK YOU” “Is this sense of belonging I’m experiencing at lesbians who tech how straight guys feel at most tech conferences? (Serious Q) #lwtsummit”
Following the Summit, we all headed to an after-party where my favorite picture ever was taken:
I headed home early, knowing I needed to get some sleep for the next day’s Lesbian Who Tech Summit Bike ride! Waking up bright and early, the lesbians are greeted with a crystal clear view of the Golden Gate Bridge as we bike across it into Sausalito, where we have a picnic and more #magicmoments.
Now that Global Pride+ and the Lesbians Who Tech Summit is a wrap, I am excited for the future and eager to plan… Lesbians Who Global Pride..? Yes. Yes indeed.