Everyone at the Table
Everyone at the Table is a series that explores everyday topics from the perspective of people... with different perspectives!
Music Good evening from New York City, I'm your host, and welcome to Everyone at the Table.
I'm Hadi Mendez, your host, and the Global Lead for Latin Flair, Cloudflare's Latinx Employee Resource Group, or ERG.
As a reminder, Employee Resource Groups are formed by employees of underrepresented groups who share common characteristics such as race or sexual preference.
ERGs foster inclusion and belonging in the workplace.
Everyone at the Table is a series that brings together members of different ERGs and allows us to explore everyday topics from the perspective of people with different perspectives.
To make sure everyone has an equal opportunity to speak and have their voice heard, I will serve as the moderator.
As a reminder to all of our viewers, we will be taking your questions at Live Studio at Cloudflare.tv.
Today on our show, we have representatives from Proud Flair, Cloudflare's LGBTQIA plus ERG.
That is a mouthful. So I think we have to start off and just explain to everybody what all these letters stand for.
So I'm going to say the letter and you guys help me explain what they all represent.
So the L is for?
Lesbian. And G? Gay. And the B? Bisexual. And the T? Trans. Q? Queer. I? Intersex.
And then the A? Asexual. Awesome. You guys get a 100 on today's quiz.
And then we have, remember guys, we have that plus for everyone else. So with that, I'd like to invite the panel today because you guys already started to hear from them.
I want them to share their name, what office you're from, and then also what being a part of Proud Flair means to you.
So Yoon, why don't we start with you?
Sure. Hi, everyone. I'm Yoon. I'm from the customer success team in Singapore office.
And I've been with Proud Flair for one and a half years. For me, it's about doing my part as an ally and creating a safe space for our straight workers and our queer colleagues to have an open discussion.
And this topic can be quite a taboo topic in Asia.
That's right. Good. Good to hear. Thanks, Yoon. Good to see you.
How about you, Kate? Yeah, I'm also, along with Yoon, in the Singapore office, although I work in the Australia and New Zealand market.
For me, being part of Proud Flair is just a continuation of continuing to be a part of a community, whether that's at home, abroad, in the workplace.
I just see Proud Flair as a natural extension of everything else I'm doing.
And I'm very happy that a space like that exists where I can clock in and do work and then come back to community when I feel like it's necessary or needed.
That is awesome. That's so good to hear. Thanks, Kate.
How about you, Jacob? Hi, everyone. I'm Jacob. I'm on Proud Flair's security team, and I'm based out of the San Francisco office.
I've been with Proud Flair for just about a year now, and it really is important for me because it helps me foster a community where I spend most of my waking hours every day.
So it's a really nice place to be involved in.
That is awesome. So, so far, community is the common theme.
Vasti, you want to finish, kind of finish us off here in terms of intros?
Hi, I'm Vasti. I'm part of the Places team, and I think, I'm not sure if we're going through alphabets, but I consider myself Q as part of the, of the rainbow.
And I'm based in San Francisco, and I've been a part of Proud Flair from its inception with Andrew, our glorious co -founder and chief cheerleader.
I see Proud Flair as being part of a community at work, but it's also an extension of my community at large in the San Francisco Bay Area.
I love that. I love to hear that.
That's awesome. So you guys have this, that community is the thread that ties everything together, and I love hearing that.
So that's awesome. Jacob, would you mind telling us a little bit about projects or activities that Proud Flair has been a part of since its inception that you're aware of, some of the things you know about?
Yeah, sure. So I might default to Vasti for a little bit more of the historical context, but at least the last year I've seen Proud Flair really do a lot of different things.
Every month, at least in the San Francisco office, we have different chapters of Proud Flair in many of our offices around the world.
We usually have a monthly meeting where we talk about different articles.
In the fall of 2019, so last fall, in San Francisco, we helped hold an intra-ERG mixer that was really fun where we had other company ERG groups come together.
We had presenters from local nonprofits and costume contests because it was around Halloween.
It was really, really fun. That sounds great. That sounds like a lot of fun.
Vasti, can you think of anything else that stands out for you since the beginning of Proud Flair that you wanted to share with our audience today?
Yes, I just remember when Andrew had this notion about creating Proud Flair and then having lunches to discuss the potential for Proud Flair as an ERG and what kind of resources that he was considering incorporating in his mission.
I mean, part of his mission to get this started over many lunches that started with just a couple of folks and then grew bigger with allies.
And now it's like a big production, right?
Production. I remember us scrambling for our first mixer and the attendance we had.
And it's just snowballed from there. I mean, our incredible pride parties, our Halloween parties.
Proud Flair is the ERG that all the ERGs want to be.
Yeah, I mean, I'm a part of Afro Flair and Andrew was very generous in sharing his ideas and how he structured Proud Flair.
And we were grateful for his generous sharing that helped us launch Afro Flair.
Awesome. Yoon, how about you? What does Proud Flair look like in Singapore?
Well, I think it's still baby steps compared to what it is now in San Francisco.
So it's a little bit like your early days. We do not have activities every month.
I think being a sales office is tough to get people together. Most of our colleagues are actually not based in Singapore.
They're based in Australia, they're based in Japan or Korea.
And so we did quite a few events last year in 2019. And that was more than what we did in 2018.
So that's an improvement. We have been doing lunch talks a little bit, breakfast talks this year.
And we had a movie night, which was really fun as well.
Oh, that's awesome. What movie did you guys watch?
Philadelphia. Oh, nice. So good. Great. That's nice to hear. So okay, well, that's good.
I think we're getting a sense that Proud Flair has been around for a long time, that it started with an idea and kind of just kept growing from there.
And now it's like part of all these offices and building community across all of Proud Flair, pretty much globally at this point.
What is new for Pride Month this year, given everything that's going on in the world?
I don't even know where to begin.
But like, maybe Jacob, you can give us an idea of like, what's new, because there's so much that would cause us to kind of reflect and take a step back and do things differently.
Sure. So to me, it's really, everything is new, and yet nothing is new at all.
It's kind of this weird in opposition. To me, what I've really seen Pride be this year is just like the ingenuity, creativity, like, just entrepreneurship of this community still coming together, creating events virtually when we can't physically be together as easy due to coronavirus.
It's also a really nice return to the foundations of Pride.
Pride was started as a riot by Black and queer trans people.
And it is kind of coming back to that there's a lot of protesting against police violence is what the first Pride was based off of, police violence against queer people.
So it's been really wonderful to see that. It's also been amazing to see this community band together, even when we're not able to physically be as close to one another.
Yeah, that's big. That's huge. And yeah, like, you know, all over the Internet, you know, everything was canceled.
And you know, I know a lot of people felt so sad, because a lot of the Pride Month parades were actually canceled.
And so it's nice to hear that, you know, there's still ways to come together, especially because community is like the thread that really brings Proud Flair together.
Vasti, how does it feel to know that this year, you know, the emphasis is really on queer people of color?
Does that make Pride extra special for you in any way? Yes, because there's an intersectional aspect to it.
I reflect that intersectionality as a queer black woman.
So you know, you have all that. That, with the backdrop of what's going on, you know, with the Black Lives Matter movement, and folks folks really reflecting on the civil rights movements in general.
And actually, what I'm very pleased about is that, you know, a lot of gay queer people are now recognizing that the gay movement is, for lack of better words, is attached or on the backs of the civil rights movement.
And, you know, so it's not in a vacuum.
And as Jacob said, you know, Stonewall, Marsha P.
Henson, all of that came out of, and I can't remember her name, a Latina trans woman, I think her, Rivera, both of those women together, it's just enough is enough.
And they, you know, it's kind of like blood. Yeah, yes. But it's kind of like that movie network, if you're familiar with it, I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore.
And, you know, that's where we are. So yeah, there's, there's a link.
And that's a great segue to my next question. So thanks, Bassie.
I appreciate you pointing out the link, because, Kate, I want to bring you into the conversation and ask you to give us a little bit of your point of view as it relates to the parallels between the current fight for racial justice and the fight for LGBTQ rights.
Like, where is that link? Could you could you kind of further define it for us, Kate?
Yeah, I think Jacob and Bassie, like, did a great job of like, pointing it out, because I think that this, this pride has been, I think, a coming home for a lot of queer people on their own history, because we've gotten so used to going to prides, public prides that were full of like, different corporate logos, and different kind of commercialized efforts that were coming into the idea of like, come spend, have fun, let's party.
But now a lot of people this month are, thanks to movements like Black Lives Matter, are being forced to kind of go back and look at their own history and, and come home to their own history and realize like, how they've gotten to where they've gotten to.
And the idea of that stonewall was actually a riot.
And being having to look at now the intersection of things like racial identity, sexual identity, gender identity.
And the two things that I think stand out in this conversation right now is number one, police brutality, and number two, the carceral, the prison system.
So when you look at this brutality, and you're wondering, how does that impact LGBT people?
You also have to remember that police violence is something that affects queer youth, it's something that affects queer homeless youth.
And how does that impact their ability to make a livelihood?
Or how does that impact their mental health?
Are they able to access mental health resources in their community or where they are?
Or are they just left with simply a police system and nothing else that kind of supplements all the other things that they would need in order to live a healthy life.
And then you have the prison system, which I think right now in the US is being heavily criticized for things like criminalizing homelessness.
But when you look at the amount of LGBT youth that are either kicked out of their homes due to their gender or sexual identity, or simply just, you know, are coming out of the foster care system, like where do they where can they go?
And where can they be?
And where can they exist in safety? And if nothing like that exists for them, then in the current, you know, US landscape in the current culture that we have, one of the few kind of options that they're left with is the prison system.
So I think as queer people, we have to kind of step back and look at, you know, what are activists in and what are organizers, what are community leaders?
And what are the local politicians in our communities doing to look after to look after our communities, our most vulnerable communities?
And how are they making sure that not only are they do they have the right to work, but that they also have the right to health to mental health care access to housing, you know, to treatment for abuse or for any other kind of issue that they may be dealing with substance abuse, whatever, you know, these are the kinds of things that we really kind of missed out on when we made pride much more about corporate funding and partying all of that was it's great to celebrate your successes.
But I think this pride was really about coming home and realizing that, you know, we have to take a look back at our history.
And we have to understand that we have a lot more work to do.
Yeah, and take care of the future. I mean, that is a parallel, I think, with Black Lives Matter in very meaningful ways, like thinking about the people who are coming, you know, next, and like making sure that you're creating safe spaces for them and, you know, ways that they're going to be successful and grow and be healthy and happy.
I'd like to also add that, you know, San Francisco, the spirit and the audacity here is to light and incite change and, you know, revolution, but change actually started in 1966 with the Compton Cafeteria riot.
And that happened, and that was 1966 and preceded Stonewall, which happened in 1967, which, you know, gets all the love, but it really happened here.
The spark was ignited here in San Francisco, because by our trans sisters who had been, you know, faced a lot of police brutality and just, again, had enough.
And those folks were the vanguard of the movement.
A lot of the trans folks at that time, women, were, again, people of color, Black and brown trans women and men, and borrowing from the civil rights movement, knew how to protest, knew, you know, how to, what's the word, collaborate and work the system and work in a way that they were seen.
Part of it was being seen, I think.
And so I wanted to acknowledge that. Thank you, Vassie. Thank you.
Hey, Yoon, we're going to come back to you now, because I understand that there is something in Singapore, and I'm not even sure if it's limited to Singapore, so please give us the background, something called Pink Dot.
Can you tell us what the history of Pink Dot is and why it exists?
Like, what is it about?
Who's it for? Sure. Thank you, Vassie. Sorry, thank you. Thank you, Haydee and Vassie, for the short conversation so far.
So Pink Dot, it is a Singapore-based movement.
It's a Singapore -based nonprofit organization. It's pink. It's red.
Singapore's nickname is Red Dot of Asia. And so it's just a play of name. And the colors of the flag is red and white here.
So it's just Pink Dot. So it's a nonprofit organization that also holds or is behind the annual Pride event for Singapore.
Now, Singapore doesn't have freedom of press. It also has other sort of limitations for people to be very open or very, like, you can't openly protest here.
So the annual Pride event is pretty important for the queer community here as well.
So that's Pink Dot. It is, it's existing because LGBTQ rights is definitely still lacking here in Singapore.
It is a fossil Asian country. It has really great reputation as like a financial hub of Asia.
But it's also the only place for a Koffler office location, where gay sex is still criminalized.
So it is from a 1930s law, a penal code.
And up till this year, there are still no potential challenges to this law.
So the High Court has just sort of dismissed a legal challenge, three legal challenges in March in 2020.
So this law is still there. So it's illegal to have gay sex in Singapore.
It carries a jail term of two years, but it's not enforced.
It's not enforced, but you know, it kind of sort of trickled down to how the perception of the community is, how the rights where, you know, if you're gay here, you don't have housing rights, because gay couple is not, you know, marriage is not registered.
You can't have access to government housing, which is 90% of the housing in the city state.
So there's plenty of other rights that we are still trying to fight for here.
Wow. Yeah, that kind of reminds me, and it's just like the juxtaposition of what happened in the United States this week, where or last week, where the United States Supreme Court made a huge decision that was in favor of LGBTQ plus rights.
And I guess, I'm curious to see, you know, Vasti or Kate or Jacob, if any one of you would like to comment on how big that decision was and what it means to the LGBT community in the US.
Yeah, I think that when I was looking at the court case, it was kind of ironic.
It was kind of weird, actually, because in the same month, we had massive rollback of trans rights and healthcare.
And at the same time, we had an extension of the Civil Rights Act in terms of discrimination, workplace discrimination on sex be extended to sexual identity, as well as a gender identity.
So in a way, like one step before and the other back.
All the criticisms that I've read so far have pointed to the idea that, you know, this will be able to be used in a way that extends to far larger issues than just employment, like you could take this and use this in terms of, you know, organizations or residential areas, having to now provide things like accessible bathrooms and other important areas of like an LGBT person's life, or just anyone's life really doesn't really just affect the LGBTQ community.
But I think what's really telling is that if you look at if you look at what the fight for how the fight for LGBTQ rights began, it was with the conversation on police brutality and the conversation on, you know, we want to exist in safety.
And so far, we've gotten really far ahead in terms of marriage in terms of legal paperwork, and being able to share assets, like you said, and then now the employment piece.
And when you think about the employment piece, it kind of brings you to the center of thought where it's like, this really allows people to now be able to litigate and use federal law as a way to fight back against state law.
Yes. But at the same time, massive amount of our community and population has now lost the right to, to health care and to be treated like an equal human being when they go to the hospital with an injury.
So something that I that I saw that was kind of telling for me is like, we've we've told LGBT people that they have, you know, the right to work, but we've denied them the right to health.
And I think that is kind of depending on where this legislation goes and how it actually moves and acts, I'd be very curious to see.
But I'm definitely thinking more about the health piece and how that's affecting the community at large right now, rather than the employment piece, which is equally as important, for sure.
But then I have to also think, you know, we're in the middle of a pandemic, and how many people have now lost their jobs and applied for unemployment?
Like, is this a victory that a lot of us can celebrate at the moment? And I hope that it goes farther than unemployment, because that's what's really, really needed and necessary, especially in June 2020.
For sure. Um, we're we're running low on time.
So I'm gonna skip to the last question that I have for you guys.
And just give you an opportunity all to tell me a little bit about what's happening at Cloudflare for Pride Month this year.
I know there's no pride parades.
We all are very sad about that. Although I'm very happy to see that Jacob wore his t shirt today anyway.
So let's see that t shirt again, Jacob. Can you drop off the line?
Oh, no. Yeah. Security guy. All right. Still a valued member of the team.
Okay, so, um, then, you know, why don't, why don't you tell us what you have planned for pride at Cloudflare this year.
And then Vas, you can tell us a little bit about what's happening in San Francisco and some of the offices in the US.
I think this year is the first time that we get to like share a pride celebration with the US and actually with our global office.
So that's really exciting.
That's the upside of being stuck at home in COVID times. So usually in Singapore, every June, we go to the PingDot event.
So that's our pride sort of event, pride parade.
But you know, that is limited to the citizens and residents. So usually for us to be more inclusive, we do like a celebration, just a celebration at a cafe.
So this year, we can't do that. Like no, no physical events, but PingDot has brought their celebration online as well.
So some of the employees will actually be joining in with the PingDot virtual celebration on Saturday night.
We are, you know, hanging from pink fairy lights and sort of sending in solidarity with the movement.
Awesome. So that means if I heard right in Asia, you're going to celebrate with Cloudflare and then you're going to celebrate with PingDot.
So you have to celebrate.
Okay, that's awesome. Hey, Vasti, we have about one minute. Do you, can you summarize for us in one minute, what's happening in the United States next week?
Or actually, it's later this week, isn't it? It's Thursday. I know what we usually, I mean, it's, it's the Sunday, right?
The 28th. I think Cloudflare is having their celebration this Thursday.
Oh, it's Thursday. I, you know what?
Jacob knows. And I think Jacob's back. It's okay. It's okay. Jacob's back.
He's back. Yes. So sorry, everyone. My power went out. So the Internet just stopped.
So, sorry. So our, we have an event this Thursday and early morning Friday for Singapore, but the first one you can find all this information if you want to attend on, if you go to, I believe it's 2020proudflarepride1.eventbrite.com.
If you want, if you're in EMEA or on the Eastern side of the United States, that's going to be more in the morning for Pacific time.
So it lines up closer to the evening time for those folks in Europe, Middle East, and Asia.
And then if you go to 2020proudflarepride2.eventbrite.com, that'll be for APAC and the Western side of North America.
And that's going to be more early morning Friday for our folks in Singapore and in Asia, and then in the evening for folks on the West coast.
Excellent. Thank you, Jacob. Thank you, Yoon.
Thank you, Kate. Thank you, Vashti. Oh, I just want to say one thing. Really quick.
I want to plug the viewing of the Netflix film Disclosure happening, I think tomorrow at five Pacific time.
Awesome. Thank you. So thank you to the entire panel for all of the knowledge that you share with us today.
I actually learned a lot.
So I really appreciate it. Next week, we're going to be back to our US EMEA schedule.
And we're going to be talking about mental health and self care, a topic that's near and dear to my heart.
And it's so important right now, guys. So, so important given the pandemic we're living through the protests, all the racial injustices and the things that we're seeing, and we're watching and we're hearing and reading, we need to take care of ourselves right now a lot.
So it's a heavy time, but we're going to be bringing in some of our colleagues from MindFlare and SoberFlare to talk to us about how we can stay healthy and well.
Really big, really quick good news story of the week.
Things have gone so well in New Zealand concerning COVID-19 that the Prime Minister and her cabinet have decided that almost all restrictions can now be lifted.
Can you imagine? Um, they basically have gone umpteen days without any cases, yada, yada, yada.
The good news is this. They were able to stall the disease.
Listen to these statistics, statistics. They only had 1500 confirmed cases in the whole country.
And only 22 people died in New Zealand.
That's ridiculous when you think about how hard it hit some other parts of the world.
They basically achieved eradication of the virus, and they're the first country to do so.
So big thumbs up to New Zealand. If things don't go my way in November, that's where you're going to find me.
Um, all right, so up next is more Cloudflare TV.
So we encourage all our viewers to stay on. And once again, a big thank you to all of you, our viewers for joining us today.
Sorry, we didn't have time to get to your questions, maybe next time.
But please join us next week at Everyone at the Table where your point of view is valued, appreciated and heard.
See you next week, guys.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai