~jpetazzo/You Belong Here

To all my LGBT+ friends, peers, and fellow members of the Kubernetes and Cloud Native communities: you do belong here. No matter what others think or say; privately or publicly; you played (and are still playing) a major role in the success of this community. Many of you, through your code, your docs, your talks, your workshops, your pull requests, your comments thereon, your presence on social media and even in the world in general, have positively influenced and helped me in so many ways that I wouldn’t be able to list them all.

Why does this need to be said? Because in 2022, a member of the Kubernetes Steering Committee publicly came under the spotlight for expressing openly homophobic and transphobic views. Phrases like “God created each person male or female” or “God’s bounds for sexuality are one man and one woman, in marriage”. As a cis man, most oftentimes, when someone says something like that, I just roll my eyes and put them in the “nutjob” bucket. I’ve also been lucky enough to never have to deal with that kind of bigotry first-hand growing up and then working for various companies and organizations. However, for folks who are transgender or gay, these phrases can be pretty hurtful, for at least a few reasons:

“Words of affirmation” isn’t my favorite language of love, which means that it can be difficult or awkward for me to express gratitude with a public statement. But I’m trying anyway. (In parallel, I’m also exploring other ways to act and reduce the harm caused by bigotry and intolerance in the spaces in which I participate.)

This is not an exhaustive list, just the first examples that came to mind. I’m not going to name anyone but I sure hope that some of you will recognize yourself there.

The list could go on and on.

I’m not saying that you are required to demonstrate exceptional levels of expertise as listed above to successfully engage with the Kubernetes and Cloud Native ecosystems. You are welcome and you belong regardless of your skills and involvement.

I’m also not saying that cis/straight folks aren’t doing shit in the community. But I’m saying that if the queer (at the broadest interpretation of that term) folks leave, it’s going to be fucking noticeable. So I would love you to stay, and to keep being awesome and bring your world-class skills to this community. And if there is anything else that you’d like me to do on your behalf, let me know.

Thank you.

This work by Jérôme Petazzoni is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.