In honor of Pride Month, Engineering Manager Julian Ramirez tells us how he’s participating in our Pridebox ERG — and what pieces of queer content we’re missing out on
This month we celebrate Pride, and the theme, “Werk! (from home)” is a nod to the ballroom culture of the late 80s and early 90s. We caught up with Engineering Manager Julian Ramirez, one of our newest team members, to learn more about how he has quickly become part of Pridebox (our LGBTQ+ employee resource group) and to chat about his favorite WFH traditions, drag queens, music, and more.
How are you werking from home right now?
Emphasis on the Werk part! My partner and I have been doing a Friday afternoon apéritif where we order cocktails from a local spot and then FaceTime with friends. It’s been a wonderful tradition to mark the end of the week, transition into the weekend, and give us a ritual to fight the feeling of every day being the same.
Are there specific elements of Drag or Ball culture that you’re especially drawn to?
I love Pose, and I have been watching RuPaul for a while. I also try to see local performers in San Francisco as much as I can. I definitely respect and appreciate the bravery of those that participated in that culture in days that it wasn’t nearly as accepted as it is today — I recognize that I stand on the shoulders of their work.
How has Drag and/or Ball culture been a part of your own personal journey?
It’s been around finding community a lot. I don’t perform in either, but it’s kind of like watching sports for queer people. You pick your performer and you really root for them and get into spirited discussions with other people about why your candidate is the best.
Who is your favorite queen?
We are a Jinkx Monsoon household here. My partner and I saw Jinkx on our first trip together to Provincetown and it was so amazing. At the end of her show, she was going on this rant about being a gay person in the current political climate — with so much divisiveness and all of these other challenges, it’s no wonder there is so much struggle. The way she flipped it from a happy-go-lucky, upbeat show to that in the last five minutes left everyone in the audience thinking.
What was your first day at Dropbox like?
I started about a month ago, so it was remote! Being a remote on-boarder has been wild, but really wonderful. My manager has been really proactive in checking in to see how working remote has been and making sure I have what I need.
How have you navigated and found ways to be involved in Dropbox culture while being completely remote?
Having to take my own picture for my badge was an experience! I need a haircut, and the lighting was bad. I’ll just ask them to take a new one when we’re back in the office! But I do think being remote has helped me onboard because everyone has had to be more communicative via slack and email, so as I find out about things, I’m able to be a part of them. I’m just having to put myself out there a lot more than I do regularly and jump into things with both feet.
What team are you on?
I’m an Engineering Manager for the Mobile Work team. We work on helping get more users on the Dropbox app and make sure the app supports them to get work done.
What office do you work in?
What is your favorite part of Pridebox (our LGBTQ+ employee resource group)?
This year with the help of our DEI Team we put together a group of employees from our ERGs who make sure our products are accessible, inclusive, and representative of our customers. I’m really excited to bring my perspective as we look into making sure technology helps everyone and doesn’t put anyone at risk.
What have you learned about yourself from (current or past) Pride months?
You’re not alone. So many gay people go through the “closet.” Sometimes you do have to hide so much, and there’s the challenge of coming out for so many people. No matter what your starting point, it’s always going to be a hard experience. The positive side of that is that it does help relationships with other people, because we can look at each other and realize, you’ve probably gone through some shit in your life too — it’s a bonding opportunity.
What’s your song in a lip sync for your life?
Boys by Todrick Hall. It has a really good beat!
Which Dropbox office would you most like to visit?
I can’t wait to visit San Francisco! I did see the office during the interview process, thankfully, but can’t wait to get back.
What queer content have you been binging during distributed work?
We’ve definitely been watching a lot of TV, like Project Runway and Making The Cut. I adore Tim Gunn and hope to one day have a chance to meet him. He’s one of my manager role models! He can give direct and difficult feedback with such grace and is always so incredibly supportive and respectful to every person in the show. We’ve also been trying to get more into queer cinema. My Big Fat Gay Italian Wedding was a really fun movie that I did not expect to enjoy, but it was great. Otherwise, we watch The Devil Wears Prada regularly.
What’s your Pride anthem this year?
Precious Things by Depeche Mode. The line “precious things need special handling” has been stuck in my head, which is something I think we can all resonate with right now.
Who’s your favorite diva?
Absolutely George Michael.
The category is Ramirez Extravaganza…. what lewk are you serving?
Dolce and Gucci glory. I love how Dolce and Gabbana has all of these beautiful crosses with gems and beautiful jackets, plus the velvet of Gucci. I also love how outrageous some of the Dolce prints are. It’s so much fun trying on some of those ridiculous clothes!
You can learn more about the various ERGs that support team members of all different backgrounds at Dropbox here.