TechTogether and I are Coming out of the Closet.

Fiona Whittington
Nov 5, 2019 · 2 min read

It was never my plan to come out on Medium or ever at all. My bi-sexuality was always a dimension of myself that made me feel too queasy and uncomfortable to speak about. Since I’ve always dated men, people always assumed I was straight. My sexuality was as confusing to my parents as it was to me, which is why I preferred not to hide “it” but to keep “it” quiet. My sexuality has and always will remain my own business, so why come out now to all of you?

As leaders, the messages we send through our actions and words are incredibly important. For a long time, I never thought I was “queer enough” to be a part of the LQBTQ+ community because growing up I was only exposed to stories and role-models that identified as lesbians. Even though my brother is gay and my mom has friends who are lesbians, I was living in a bubble where bisexual role-models weren’t accessible. I always felt like I had to choose between being lesbian or straight, bi-sexuality simply was not an option.

For this reason, changing TechTogether’s mission to be more inclusive of LGBTQ+ identities was incredibly important to me. I know what it’s like to feel excluded from a community that was supposed to be designed to empower you and I don’t want that for anyone in the TechTogether community. Women will always play an important role in TechTogether, but it’s time that we open our doors to trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming individuals that for too long have been ignored by the “women in tech” and feminist movements.

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The TechTogether nonprofit team ❤

For this reason, TechTogether will be changing our mission to the following statement and enacting a plan to make our events more welcoming to all gender-marginalized individuals.

TechTogether is using the power of community and research to build a gender-diverse future in technology.

TechTogether has yet to perfect being inclusive of all gender-marginalized communities. Change won’t happen overnight, but I’m excited to have taken the first baby step forward. It is my hope that TechTogether will become a role model for other organizations seeking to improve the gender ratio in tech beyond the female/male gender binary.

Thank you to my parents and everyone from the TechTogether nonprofit team for providing me with unconditional love and support as I wrote this piece. Thank you to Gefen Skolnick and Sarah Manlove for being the inspiring role-models I always wanted and needed.


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