An Open Petition to the San Francisco Pride Board of Directors

Jun 26 · 4 min read

To: Jacquelene Bishop, President
and her fellow members
Board of Directors
San Francisco Pride
1841 Market Street, 4th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103–1112

CC: Lisa Williams, sponsorship sales
sponsorship@sfpride.org

Ms. Bishop, et al.,

We, the undersigned, employees of Google (and related companies YouTube and Alphabet), urge you to revoke Google’s sponsorship of Pride 2019, and exclude Google from representation in the San Francisco Pride Parade on June 30th, 2019.

We do not make this request without serious consideration of the alternatives. We have spent countless hours advocating for our company to improve policies and practices regarding the treatment of LGBTQ+ persons, the depiction of LGBTQ+ persons, and harassment and hate speech directed at LGBTQ+ persons, on YouTube and other Google products. Whenever we press for change, we are told only that the company will “take a hard look at these policies.” But we are never given a commitment to improve, and when we ask when these improvements will be made, we are always told to be patient.

We are told to wait. For a large company, perhaps waiting is prudent, but for those whose very right to exist is threatened, we say there is no time to waste, and we have waited too long, already. We are no longer content to wait.

We receive apologies that we may be upset about the policies and practices to which we object, even as we are told that leadership stands by those policies. We are told to wait quietly, while executives state this position in interviews with the press¹.

Even as this discussion was ongoing, we watched and waited as others petitioned you to take the very action we now ask for². When some of our fellow employees expressed concern that they might not be able to march in the parade if such a petition were to succeed, we opened a genuine dialogue, and ultimately together proposed a compromise: to protest from within the contingent, allowing employees to express their disagreement with the company’s position, from the parade. But Google has now informed us that this is a violation of our communications policy, a part of the company code of conduct³. They claim the contingent is their official representation, and we may not use their platform to express an opinion that is not their opinion. In short, they rejected any compromise.

We have considered the possibility that our employer will punish us for signing this letter, or that supporters of these very hatemongers will attack us personally, online or otherwise, simply for speaking out against them. Despite these risks, we are compelled to speak.

We feel we have no choice but to urge you to reject Google’s failure to act in support of our community by revoking their sponsorship of Pride, and excluding Google from official representation in the Pride parade. If another official platform, YouTube, allows abuse and hate and discrimination against LGBTQ+ persons, then Pride must not provide the company a platform that paints it in a rainbow veneer of support for those very persons. On the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, in a Pride celebration whose very slogan is “Generations of Resistance”, we ask you to join us in resisting LGBTQ+ oppression on the internet, and the subjugation of our right to equality in favor of calculated business concerns. The first Pride was a protest, and so now must this Pride be one.

We know this request comes just a short time before the Pride celebration. But we are tired of waiting, and we hope you are, as well. We ask that, even if you will not consider excluding Google so soon before Pride, that you will issue a determination, absent a real change in these policies and practices, and a strong position statement to that effect, that Google will not be permitted to sponsor or be officially represented in future San Francisco Pride celebrations.

We thank you for your consideration, and your time.

Sincerely,

The below Google employees:

Aaron Gable
Abi LaBounty
Adam Campbell
Adrienne Walker
Aidan Holloway-Bidwell
Alan Hwang
Alasdair Mackintosh
Alex Chell
Alex Hanna
Alex Heinz
Alfonso Mejia
Alice Witchfire
Allison K.
Alon Altman
Amanda
Amr Gaber
Andrea Martinelli
Andrew Sherman
Ashley Rose
Becca
Benjamin S Wolf
Brielin Brown
Brock Jackman
Caleb Eggensperger
Cassandra Fox
Chieu Nguyen
Chloe Pelling
Chris Erickson
Christian Biesinger
Christopher Anderson
Colby Jordan
Conrad Parker
Cortney Cassidy
Curtis Steckel
Dan Boger
Dana Anderson
Dana Jansens
Dave Fayram
David Pizzuto
David Reese
Demma Rosa Rodriguez
Devon H. O’Dell
Dionna Glaze
Dustin Zelle
Eddie Grystar
Elijah Soria
Emily Hurdle
Emily Metcalfe
Emma Lea
Eric Lewis
Gabe Benjamin
Gabriel Dulac-Arnold
Gabrielle Anderson
Garrett Maron
Gavin Dodd
Gianni Gambetti
Gordon Barber
Hannah Pascal
Harpo Jaeger
Harrison Shullo
Hayes Neuman
Hazel Troost
Irene Knapp
Irina Dumitrescu
Isaias Suarez
Jacob Morgan
Jacob Reynolds
Jacob Rubenstein
James Buyayo
Jeffrey Yasskin
Jennifer Thakar
Jerrald Kelty Jr.
Jesse Lovelace
Jimmy Ramirez
John Caron
Julia Tufts
Junaedy Liem
Kai Frey
Kaley Main
Kate Donahue
Kimberly W.
Kyle Spiers
Lauren Tweedie
Laurence Berland
Liza Burakova
Lux Betancourt
Lynne Goerner
Marie Collins
Maris Ryckman
Mark Cogan
Mark Fickett
Marshall Gillson
Matthew Burgess
Matthew Garrett
Matthew Martin
Maxime Tiran
Mayuri Raja
Michael Ryan Walker
Michael Shields
Miguel barreto
Miguel Mendez
Natalie Phillips-Hamblett
natasha tamiru
Nick Stevens-Yu
Nicole Kihara
Nikhil Desai
Nina-Marie Amadeo
Ojas Deshpande
Olga Ustiuzhanina
Oliver Hunt
Owain G. Ainsworth
Patrick Dixon
Paul
Paul Duke
Phillips Mitchell
Pierre-François Laquerre
Rebecca Nickerson
Ricard Sole Casas
RW
Sam Phippen
Sasha Ayvaziv
Scotty Tucker
Sean Risser
Seth Troisi
Sheena Hillier
Sophie Schmieg
Stephanie Parker
Steve Robertson
Steven Bills
Theodore Dubois
Todd Eisenberger
Tony Shih
Troy Deck
Veronica Benson-Moore
Viet-Tam Luu
Vladimir Yakunin
Wesley Aptekar-Cassels
Will Hayworth
Wyatt Ratliff
Xavid Pretzer
Xiao Yu Zhu
Yash Sekhon
Yuzu Saijo
Zie Weaver
Zora Tung

We will update with additional signatures if more Googlers choose to sign after this open letter is published
(last signature update: 201906290425 count: 145)

Find us on Twitter: @NoPrideForGoog

[1] https://www.cnet.com/news/youtube-ceo-apologizes-to-lgbt-community-for-hurtful-decision/ https://www.vox.com/recode/2019/6/11/18660779/youtube-ceo-susan-wojcicki-code-conference-peter-kafka-interview-transcript-maza-crowder-lgbtq

[2] https://hoodline.com/2019/06/sf-pride-considers-excluding-google-from-parade-over-homophobic-harassment-on-youtube

[3] https://abc.xyz/investor/other/google-code-of-conduct/

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