Celesbians! Spaceships! Werther’s!
3 seemingly unrelated things I wasn’t expecting to find at the 2nd annual Lesbians Who Tech Summit in San Francisco. But I did find them, and they MADE MY DAY.
Before we go into werther or not I am actually an 80 year old Grandma (#Werther’s #seewhatIdidthere), let me explain what the Lesbians Who Tech Summit is, and how I got to be there.
I work at Google, and last year I found myself with an opportunity to apply for diversity funding. After a few emails and brainstorming sessions, I was introduced to Leanne, founder of Lesbians Who Tech (LWT). Through Leanne’s partnership, we were awarded the diversity funding, and Google became the first sponsor of the inaugural 2014 LWT Summit. The 2014 LWT Summit was a smashing success , and I wanted to continue Google’s involvement this year.
Unfortunately, our Gaygler executive sponsor, Megan Smith, left to be the CTO of America…nbd. Immediately after hearing the news, I set about to find her replacement (I mean, properly congratulated her, grieved her loss, then set about to find her replacement).
I heard one of Larry Page’s direct reports was a strong ally who often participated in the SF Pride parade. So naturally I emailed him. AND HE RESPONDED! Then I asked him for $50,000. AND HE SAID YES!
Fast forward to Friday, February 27th. My favorite day of the year…the LWT Summit! The 1,200 person, sold-out Summit!
The day started with a Google breakfast to enable the 45 Gayglers from SF, LA, Seattle, NYC, and London (!!) to meet n greet.
I then headed to Castro Theatre, where I immediately see the lesbians. ALL THE LESBIANS. Y’all…there were so many. 1,200 to be exact. One of the first lesbians I see is my dear roommate, Yarin, also known as lead designer at Her, and Robyn, also known as my future wife (shhh, she doesn’t know that).
As I look for a seat in the Castro Theatre, I run into Bria & Chrissy, one of my favorite YouTube celesbians! I fan girl out, make plans to have lunch with them on Monday, and then settle in for the Summit kick-off.
Mid-way through the first speaker, I decide to check on the Google Recruiting team, at the Connection Zone, a place where Summit attendees talk to corporations who have sponsored the Summit. That’s where I see the spaceships!!
Basically, Oculus brought their A game. And their A game is a virtual reality game where you shoot at spaceships by tapping on your goggles. I was shooting spaceships for at least 10 minutes before I remembered I was supposed to be checking on the Google booth…and generally doing things that didn’t involve spinning around in a chair gleefully being 10 years old.
After the spaceships, I visited GE’s photo booth:
Then, I went to get a macaroon from LinkenIn’s gay macaroon tower (!!!) and a t-shirt. They stopped me and said “To get a t-shirt, you need to go upstairs and get your free LinkenIn professional headshot”, to which I reply “WHAT?! 2 birds, no stones…I’m in!”
I debated going back to the spaceships for round 2, but decide to venture around to the different lunch talks. I get rejected from the first one b/c I didn’t sign up (don’t they know who I am!? They did…I had a nametag…), but then I found a bomb Korean bulgogi food truck so I ate that and meandered around, feeling like a kid in Disneyland. In fact, I ran into Leanne and our conversation went a little like this:
Leanne: “Hey! How’s it going?”
Me: “Leanne, this is awesome! I’m at Disneyland! There are Werther’s candies upstairs!”
Me: “Oh, no there’s more, obviously. Spaceships!! And LinkenIn has a macaroon tower! And all my friends are here too!!”
Leanne: “Haha….I love you, Tracey”
Me (as Leanne has already walked away): “And…the speakers and content…”
I spent the rest of the afternoon bouncing off the walls in my excitement, seeing old friends and making new friends, and witnessing a live marriage proposal on stage!
After the Summit, we head to The Cafe for the after party, where I spend some time with Team Her, and truly soak up the feelings associated with the day. The sense of community. The inspiring lesbians who are doing incredible things. The allies who support us. The pure joy I felt throughout the entire day.
Then I hop a railing and Irish Goodbye like no one’s business. I was le tired!