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  • LGTBQ+
  • allyship
  • intersectionality
  • underrepresented people in tech

Special Episode: Celebrating our Pride

Hosted by Erin Allard, with guests Bryan Vanderhoof, Jace Bryan, and Eric Routen.

June is Pride Month in the U.S. and, against the backdrop of a pandemic and protests, celebrating one's identity has never been more necessary. We've established a dialog with several LGBTQ+ individuals to talk about what coming out to a community has meant for them. They also delve into the importance of lifting others, through their various non-profit work, and how the spirit of volunteering is essential for creating a stronger society.

Show notes

Erin Allard is a Platform Support Engineer at Heroku, and she's leading a conversation with Jace Bryan (who works on the Customer Centric Engineering team at, Eric Routen (a family medicine resident in the New York area), and Bryan Vanderhoof (a manager on Heroku's runtime team). Each of these individuals come from different backgrounds, but they are united together in the larger LGBTQ community. After they came out, they sought ways to support other LGBTQ individuals who were not given the same opportunities as they were. Bryan focuses on helping homeless individuals, many of whom are children kicked out of their homes for being queer; Eric helps LGBTQ youth with job preparedness and substance abuse disorders; Jace shares their story of homelessness to college degree as a means of inspiring others to never give up.

With respect to intersectionality, each of the speakers identifies that they are but a sliver of the communities they represent. It's important for them to acknowledge their own privileges, while at the same team being an ally for voices not at the table. Everyone goes through challenging experiences, but it's important to continue to show empathy towards others who need help too. One way to do that is to continue to volunteer, or at least, reach out to communities, and learn for yourself what problems they have. Uplifting those who don't look like or feel like you is one of the aims of Pride Month.

  • HRC's Glossary of Terms helps you understand LGBTQ terminology
  • The Night Ministry is an organization devoted to mitigating the suffering of homeless people in Chicago
  • Ali Forney Center is an organization that helps people with job preparedness
  • focuses on advancing empowerment through education and community for underrepresented individuals
  • Power Of Us Hub is an online community for customers, certified partners, and staff
  • Salesforce Pride 2020 provides items for purchase, with all proceeds donated to four different non-profit organizations around the globe

Fireworks and rainbow colors with the message, 'Celebrate pride with our collection of wallpapers'


Erin: Welcome to another episode of the Code[ish] podcast. I'm Erin Allard, a Platform Support Engineer at Heroku, and I'm here today with a few of my colleagues from the wider Salesforce organization. And we are here to have a discussion about volunteering for LGBTQ+ organizations. For those who may not be aware, LGBTQ+ stands for lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender, queer, and all other varieties of sexual orientation, and gender identities. So without further ado, I would like to introduce my podcast participants. The first person on my list is Jace who works for The next person is Eric, who describes himself as a Salesforce adjacent person, and he'll tell us more about that in a moment. And then, lastly, but not least we have Bryan who also works at Heroku with me, and Bryan is a manager on our Runtime team. So I guess we'll just go through each person here and say a little bit about your role at Salesforce, or Heroku, and what brings you to the episode today? We'll start with you, Jace.

Jace: So my role is interesting. I work for the Customer Centric Engineering team at and in a nutshell, we are the ones that handle some of the high-levelest case escalations that come in around our education nonprofit products, but my other half of my job focuses on building diverse and inclusive open-source communities. And that really rallies around the idea of working with hundreds of volunteers and staff worldwide to crowdsource impact and drive innovation in order to maximize philanthropic, altruistic, and humanitarian impact in our communities and around the world.

Erin: Let's move on to Eric. Eric, would you tell us a little bit more about your Salesforce adjacency and what brings you to the episode today?

Eric: So my brother joined Salesforce as a developer about a year or two ago. And when the month started, when June, which is Pride Month started he got in contact with me. Someone had asked him if he knew anyone who had done volunteer work in the LGBTQ community. And I said, "I would be happy to oblige." I'm actually at a medical residency. I'm a family medicine resident in the New York area. So like I said, Salesforce adjacent, but very happy to be here.

Erin: And, Bryan, a fellow Herokai. Could you please tell us a bit about your work at Heroku and what caused you to say yes to being on the episode today?

Bryan: Yeah, absolutely. I'm one of the managers on the Runtime team at Heroku and we build all the containerization and networking automation that underpins both the common Runtime and Private Spaces products. I actually lead a couple of teams that manage the outward facing piece of both of those products. Salesforce has a very large volunteering community and places a lot of emphasis on volunteering so we track hours and I was one of the top 100 volunteers last year.

Erin: Woo-hoo.

Bryan: Thank you. Partially due to volunteering with some LGBTQ charities. And so when someone reached out to me about talking about that, I was really excited to do that.

Erin: I'd like to start us off by, I guess, a tiny bit of name-dropping, or plugging. I'm really curious to know what organizations you all have volunteered for and why? What drew you to those particular organizations? Bryan, maybe we'll start with you.

Bryan: I am based in Chicago and I've been helping out a few organizations, but, especially, The Night Ministry here, which is an organization devoted to mitigating the suffering of homeless people in Chicago. And among other things they have a lot of education initiatives, and a lot of social services things, and operate a van that drives around a very LGBTQ heavy area of the city and offers medical services to homeless people, but they also operate a youth shelter that mainly targets LGBTQ youth, and gives them a place to sleep, social services support, all the education, and job search help that they could ask for I hope.

Erin: And how did you decide that The Night Ministry was an organization that you wanted to spend some time supporting?

Bryan: I mean, homelessness is a really important issue to me and I think particularly queer youth. Obviously, all the intersections of various other minorities you see a lot more homelessness in those populations. And so that seemed like an ideal fit to me. I, also, a long time ago, I realized several years after coming out that coming out may be a very personal thing, but as you age it's really about building a support network for the people around you, and the people that come after you that are struggling. And so looking for ways that I can maximize that ability to build that network of support for people that maybe they've been kicked out of the house because of being queer being able to help people like that deal with some of the things that maybe I felt really alone dealing with when I was young.

Erin: Right.

Bryan: That just seemed really ideal to me.

Erin: Thank you for sharing that. I really appreciate it. And one thing I did want to sit on for just a moment, you used the word queer and I use the word queer in explaining the LGBTQ acronym, but I didn't actually say what queer meant. Could you help our folks who may be hearing this word for the first time, or not really knowing yet what it means what does it mean to be queer? And, of course, this definition varies person to person, but just in a broad sense.

Bryan: I'm using it somewhat as an umbrella term. That's not the only way to use it. In some sense, I'm using it as shorthand for the entire LGBTQ+ acronym because it's a term that for many people encapsulates all sexual orientation, and gender minorities. Like I said, not all people agree with that definition, but that's the one I'm comfortable with, and it's how I identify.

Erin: Let's move on to Eric now. Eric, before we started recording, you mentioned an organization in New York that you are really happy to support, and, also, were interested in sharing your perspective from the health care side of things. Could you tell us a bit about the organizations that you've participated with, and what drew you to those organizations?

Eric: Like Bryan, I also have a large interest in the issue of homelessness. It's something that there's many different causes, many aspects of that include financial issues, sometimes mental health issues, sometimes substance abuse issues in the LGBTQ community. Largely you see it in youth due to an unaccepting family, or an unaccepting society. The organization in New York it's called the Ali Forney Center. It's an organization for LGBTQ youth and it's a drop-in center. It's an organization that helps people with job preparedness, with transitional housing and getting people off of the streets.

Eric: Before I started med school, I did a year of volunteering in an organization out in California as well, called TLCS--used to stand for Transitional Living and Community Support. And they dealt with clients who were dual-diagnosed with psychiatric issues and substance abuse disorders. They also had a specific housing location for people who are living with HIV as well. In the LGBTQ community, specifically, substance abuse issues and psychiatric issues they're more prevalent than in the greater society. And that's one of those issues that LGBTQ people need to have addressed just because dealing with growing up feeling other, or not feeling accepted can be really, really damaging, and people use all sorts of things to help numb those feelings, or help work through those feelings. And abuse is a risk factor for developing psychiatric issues as well. I like the intersection of homelessness as a way to work in the community in a social sense in addition, too, in a medical sense because those issues are things that we see in the office, and in the hospital very regularly, and they're very important issues to be addressed.

Erin: I guess a question for both Eric and Bryan and, Jace, I know we haven't gotten to you yet then we'll definitely get to you next, but both Eric and Bryan, you both are drawn to the issue of homelessness, and it seems to me just listening from how you in particular, Eric, are describing homelessness that homelessness is actually a symptom of potentially many problems. It's certainly a social problem in and of itself, but it seems like homelessness is a result of other societal failings, or family failings. Is that an accurate read that I have on the topic?

Eric: Homelessness is very universal. There's a set of circumstances that can cause it, but it is also a very individual thing. And there's a lot of different paths people can take to it, or really that people can be led into it. In this country in particular, we don't do a great job of caring for the most vulnerable, in particular people with mental health issues. We have really, really awful access to health care in this country, and there's so many barriers to entry. Even people with good jobs and good insurance don't always get the mental health services that they need. For vulnerable communities and largely minority communities, either racial, or sexual, or gender minorities, or even socioeconomic minorities, we as a society try to brush those issues under the rug, or not address them, or, specifically, avoid using resources and money to address those issues. That's just on a society wide level. In terms of traumas that you might go through growing up in a home, or in a church community, or in school, or in a job, those can also be things that lead to issues like substance abuse.

Bryan: Yeah, I think one of the scary parts to me is how self-perpetuating homelessness is. As Eric was talking about there are a lot of socioeconomic, and health, and mental health, and race-related reasons. Being queer certainly can result in homelessness, but once you're on the street, I think that's the thing that really gets me is that the resources aren't there to help you get off the street. Being on the street then you're not sleeping as well as you could. That drives if you have any kind of mental health problem already that's going to be exacerbated by the fact that you maybe are sleeping on a train where you have to get off the train every 90 minutes and get back on again, which is a big thing that we see here in Chicago. Having your sleep interrupted like that is just going to perpetuate those mental health issues, which is going to make it harder for you to get off the street, find education, find a community that will help support you. And so it just snowballs into this lifelong thing if you can't get some kind of help,

Erin: I'm really interested to hear from you next, Jace. I haven't given you much opportunity yet to share, but you actually shared with us before we started recording that you have some amount of experience with homelessness as a result of being a member of the LGBTQ+ community. So I'm wondering if you'll be willing to share as much as you're comfortable sharing about that and lead us into the work that you've done with some organizations.

Jace: I feel that storytelling is important for so many reasons. It helps connect people and it helps build bridges of connection because, ultimately, a story is shared, and if there's other people out there that have had this similar experience it might just help them open up about it. So for me, I like to call it privileged homelessness because it's definitely not me living in a situation to where I didn't have access to maybe a couch at someone's house. I did have access to sleeping in my car during this time, but my experience came out the same time I came out. I came out at 17 to my parents, and that was not the greatest experience. I was raised in a household where LGBT individuals were demonized, and so that translated to me at 17, and from that point I was living in my car for a while.

Jace: Luckily my girlfriend at the time, she knew what was happening, and she knew I was down the street from where her parents, and where she was living at the time, but it was winter and it was cold. I was in the high desert of Southern California at the time when I was living there, but it was scary. It was very scary because number one, just not having access to the people that you look up at when you're growing up as being your rock. Not having the parents, or your siblings there to support you and just feeling abandoned at a time of your life where you make this choice am I going to live, or die? And you choose to live and the door gets shut in your face, but I will say that through those experiences it did help me find a part of myself that really is a very resilient part of myself. And it has helped me through several transitions in my life.

Jace: So, yeah, so that's the experiences I had. While it started at 17, the relationships with my parents were very rocky going forward. So I found myself sleeping on several different couches. I didn't have money at the time so I couldn't take myself to the doctor if I got sick. I just didn't have access to a lot of things during that time. I was lucky if I had a couch to sleep on. I was lucky if I had enough money to buy a packet of ramen, and eat it in my car. I did a lot of car camping at that time. So, yeah, that's my experience and not to make it sound horrible because clearly I worked for now. I have a degree in Computer Information Systems. I did all the things that those people told me I couldn't do, so I'm very grateful to be able to share that story.

Erin: Good for you, and really, really appreciating you sharing that story. I know vulnerability can be tough, especially, when your story is potentially heard by a lot of people who you won't ever be able to see, so just really appreciate your openness with that. So with that in mind, did that experience color which organizations you eventually found yourself wanting to support later on in life?

Jace: Oh, you bet. You bet. I can talk to you, the one organization I definitely want to highlight because it has played such an active role in my life is a nonprofit called They focus on advancing empowerment through education and community for underrepresented individuals in technology. Now, when I'm talking about underrepresented individuals, I'm talking about black people, people of color, transgender people, non-binary people, neuro-diverse, women, et cetera. Now I want to pause for a second because I want to reflect on a couple terms here.

Erin: Fantastic.

Jace: Some of the terms I'm going to be talking about you can look in several different resources. You can talk to several different individuals they're going to give you different responses, but the definitions I'm going to give you for transgender and non-binary are coming from So in case any of the listeners want to go and take a look.

Erin: Oh, cool.

Jace: This is where those terms are coming from. So for transgender, transgender is an umbrella term for people whose gender identity and/or expression is different from cultural expectations based on the sex they were assigned at birth. So, for example, as a transgender person myself, I was assigned the sex of female at birth, but I identify as male. So when we talk about non-binary, it's an adjective describing a person who does not identify exclusively as a man or woman. So neuro-diversity focuses on individuals with neurological differences that should be recognized and respected such as autism, dyslexia, et cetera.

Erin: So how did you become involved with Obviously, there's a big alignment in the community that it's serving, and I'm also sensing a connection with the tech world, so how did you get involved with that?

Jace: Before Amplify was Amplify, it was originally known as Girlforce and it started as a group in the Power Of Us Hub with the same focus. I had become a board member of Amplify back in 2014. That was when I was, believe it or not, I was still a customer using products on the education side, and I was a community member in the Power Of Us Hub. And so I found out that there was this group that was all about the things that I was about. It stood for all the things that I did. And I quickly recognized myself within that community. And it grew to be a thriving community.

Jace: I want to say it was back in 2018, 2019, when Amplify realized that Girlforce wasn't really representative truly of what it stood for. And so what they decided to do, and what we decided to do at the time is that we figured we need to rebrand. We need to rebrand to something that we can align with and that we feel is a value to how we see ourselves, how we see each other, and how we want to see the world. And so we focused on the fact that we amplify voices. And so hence we came to the term of Amplify, or We Are Amplify.

Jace: And so to me, being a part of this group and seeing so many people rally around the need to find inclusion in technology, especially, around underrepresented individuals, and finding ways to come together, and build community, and rely on each other back when it was still Girlforce, we created something called The Book Shelf. The Book Shelf was a focus on books like a small book club where we would get together and discuss things. And I remember the first Book Shelf we had was on Brené Brown, and it was talking about the power of being transparent, and the power of vulnerability, and the need to bring down shame.

Jace: And I think in underrepresented groups, especially, in technology the fact of being underrepresented. You could be at a table and still not be seen. You can talk and still not be heard. The fact that we have this group of individuals, of like-minded individuals, including allies being able to amplify our messages, and our words was something that was incredibly powerful to me. And so when Amplify became more than just a group in the Power Of Us Hub, and it became its own nonprofit, I wanted to do everything I possibly could to help everyone that was a part of this, a part of this growth go global. We Are Amplify has groups all over the world now.

Erin: Wow.

Jace: Yeah, it's amazing. And the fact that in the Power Of Us Hub over 5,000 members alone, these are active members, so. And our numbers keep growing. We also have an ally aspect of We Are Amplify as well. So there's a lot of learning opportunities. There's a lot of events that happen. So if anyone's interested in learning more, if you go to you can find out about local events that are taking place, you can find out about volunteer opportunities and things like that, but definitely check it out. If you're looking for a way to invest your time in supporting underrepresented communities then Amplify I would say is the center of that. And they have a lot of great opportunities, so that's how Amplify came to me.

Erin: One thing that I'm noticing that that is common in each of your stories is the intersectionality. Intersectionality is the intersection of someone having various identities. For example, my wife identifies as a woman. She identifies as gay and she is also of mixed race. And so for her, she has themes of gender, themes of sexual orientation, and themes of race in a lot of her interactions in the world. And I noticed that each of you talked about intersectionality either specifically, or in passing. And it seems to me like intersectionality is actually a really big piece of the LGBTQ+ experience. So I just want to spend a few minutes talking a bit about this and I'll leave it open. And I guess I can start by sharing that the Outforce group at Salesforce, which is the affinity group, if you will, for LGBTQ+ folks and allies has been focusing their energy, this Pride Month, Pride 2020 on trans black people, for example. Bryan, I'll pass this off to you first. Do you have anything you want to share with respect to intersectionality?

Bryan: Oh, sure. In working at the crib in The Night Ministries homeless shelter for youth most of the people that you see in the crib are experiencing the effects of intersectionality, but often that can be magnified because that might cause you to get rejected from another community that you're a part of, or, for example, people that I know who would otherwise be seeking out support from the LGBTQ community may be ostracized because of race, for example. So it's not even just that you have these collection of experiences of oppression, but that even the communities that you would go to for support sometimes are the source of that oppression so you end up with, especially, some people like trans black women might experience multiple layers of this kind of oppression, where they all interact with each other. And so instead of having just the queer blanket, or the black blanket, they have just layers of blankets piled on top of them until they're completely weighed down.

Erin: I think that's a really good analogy, Bryan. I also wanted to call out why it has seemed more important than ever for Pride 2020 that the LGBT community really support the black community, and, especially, black queer people given all that is happening with Black Lives Matter and racial justice. Eric, I think you may have some thoughts about this as well, so I'll pass this over to you.

Eric: Sure. And I just wanted to start off by saying even in this podcast part of the privilege, I think that is going on here is that there aren't any black voices in this podcast.

Erin: Yep.

Eric: And not to say that that doesn't make it legitimate, but it's more evidence that oftentimes black people are left out of a conversation, and sometimes that's because of a lack of opportunity. And what I wanted to say, I wanted to talk a little bit about intersectionality using an example from health care. So there are certain health risks in the gay community in particular like HIV that are amplified in the LGBTQ community. And as a white gay man, I have an increased risk of contracting HIV in my lifetime. And I'm looking at the stats from right now, and it's saying that there's one in 11 white MSM, which is men who have sex with men will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetime, but if you look at Hispanic MSM, it's one in four Hispanic men who have sex with men will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetime.

Erin: Wow.

Eric: And with African-American MSM, it's one in two.

Erin: Wow.

Eric: And those are staggering numbers on all counts, but it shows the layers, right? All three groups are at increased risk, but Hispanic men, and African American men are significantly more at risk of contracting the disease, and you have to look at what factors are involved there. And that's where intersectionality comes in because there are other factors. There are other types of oppression, and systemic racism, and lack of access to health care. And not even just lack of access to health care, but racism within health care. You can even talk about women's experience with the doctor and in particular trans women. Women in general don't have complaints of pain taken as seriously by doctors. They routinely have things disregarded, and trans women, and trans men have significant parts of their health care and cancer screening left off completely by doctors, and health care professionals who either don't know to help them with, or don't care to. Minorities face different levels of discrimination, and neglect, but there's privilege there, and there's a lack of privilege there, too. So it all, I guess, intersects.

Erin: Those statistics are astonishing. I also have an amount of privilege as well because this is the first I'm hearing of it. I'm not really in a group that is at high-risk for contracting HIV. So it hasn't, I mean, this will sound bad to say, but it's the truth. It hasn't been important for me, personally, to be up on that, if you will. So hearing you share that is just a reminder that I could have my eyes open wider.

Eric: It's important to keep perspective, too, because any minority group has issues that they face, and not every group is ever going to fully understand, or be fully educated on all the types of discrimination that other groups face, but we can be kind to other people who aren't going through what we are, and allow for them to make an earnest attempt to be better and to educate themselves, and to be supportive. And when we are the ones who are not educated to make that honest effort to understand other people, and to support other people when they're facing things that we don't necessarily understand, or aren't subject to ourselves.

Erin: Jace, would you like to chime in on our conversation about intersectionality?

Jace: Yeah. So I want everyone listening for a moment to put yourself in the shoes of a trans woman, and you're at your doctor's and you're filling out a form. And you notice that the form only gives you the gender options of male and female. Well, you identify as female, so you choose female. A couple months later, a new drug comes out to help avoid prostate cancer. You don't get that notice simply because the gender identities in that form don't include transgender. So I want to talk about I just wanted to emphasize on the concept of intersectionality when it comes to medical treatment, when it comes to things like that, these are situations that happen all the time. Even just the lack of gender identities in medical forms are killing people because they're not given the option to even know about lifesaving medical treatments. I felt that as Eric was talking, and I just wanted to add that little bit of food for thought for our audience.

Erin: I had to go to the doctor a couple weeks ago, and I noticed that the Wi-Fi password at my doctor's office was he-she-they, and being attuned to inclusive language, I said to the receptionist, "Hey, I really appreciate your Wi-Fi password." I would appreciate it, generally, but the fact that in a medical facility gender fluidity, or non-binary gender was actually being recognized and shared. Even people who may align with the gender binary they have to type in that password when they're trying to get on the internet. And so for me, it was like, oh, my gosh, how cool. My doctor's office is actually doing this. I'd like to shift our conversation towards Pride during a pandemic, or even supporting the LGBTQ+ community in some way during a pandemic. Obviously, everything is virtual now. How can people who want to contribute positively to our community do so virtually? Do you have any thoughts, or recommendations?

Jace: I would just say from a Pride perspective in a COVID-19 world and making sure that we're all still doing our very best to stay connected is just reach out. Reach out to your social networks at this point. Look on Facebook. Look what types of activities are happening, or take it to Twitter. There are opportunities, even though they may not necessarily be a live face-to-face type of an interactive event, just simply listening to conversations that are happening to feel empowered and uplifted not just by others that may look like you, or feel like you, or have the same experiences, but also allies. Allyship is huge during Pride Month. Allyship is what got me through those days I was talking about earlier, when I was living in my car. I had voices in my ears of friends telling me that, "Hey, don't give up. You need to live. You need to stand up. You need to take that next step." Don't listen to the people and the voices that are telling you that you can't because you can.

Jace: And so during Pride Month, just making sure that you're connecting and you're looking for it. And I feel that in the COVID-19 environment, people are looking for people, and there are always opportunities to make connection, but having that closeness and just listening to their support for our community, for the community in the world, for Black Lives Matter, it was something very much needed. And in a world right now where we're disconnected, we're even more connected. So I want to remind everyone that that is truly the case.

Jace: And I want to say one more thing. It's also very privileged because I do have access to internet, and I do have access to things that allow living in a virtual environment, virtual world right now very easy so I do want to state that, but not everyone has those opportunities and in situations like that my privilege prevents me from even giving an answer on how to address those types of things, but I guess the thing I would say is if I was in a situation like that, I would be reaching out to people even if that meant I was walking and going to their house, or wherever they were to find them, to find that community because right now is a time where people feel very isolated, but at the same time you need community. You need community to survive. You need the touch of another human being. You need to know that you're cared for.

Eric: And another thing to think about is that while we're all stuck home alone, or with chosen families as adults, there are a lot of people who are stuck home with not chosen families who are more vulnerable than ever right now. And you think of kids and adolescents who are coming of age, and starting to understand their sexual, or gender identities stuck in a house 24/7 with people who may, or may not be supportive. And I think back to myself as a little gay kid thinking that by default there was something wrong with me and that the world is against me and everyone hated me.

Eric: And if that's your default worldview, and I think a lot of LGBTQ+ people grow up with those sorts of feelings if that's your default worldview then silence from other people around you only serves to reinforce that feeling. And so particularly now when people are maybe alone they need that support. They need active, vocal support, whether that's putting a rainbow flag, or a trans flag on a social media account, or posting something about Pride Month in a positive way, or reaching out and calling someone that you think may be struggling, vocal support and coming out as an ally means the world to people. And it's the difference between thinking that you have people for you, or everyone is against you.

Eric: At work, we've been talking about how a huge amount of calls to Child Protective Services about abuse come from teachers and for kids at home right now that resource is no longer an option. LGBTQ+ children and adolescents are more vulnerable to that than your average children. And so it's not just a benign quarantine where you're stuck at home with video games, or whatever. For a lot of people it can be a really awful, awful time. And so anywhere you see someone who's struggling, obviously, we're not going to be able to stop child abuse, or save the world during this pandemic, but the more connection that we can achieve during this the more we can reach out to other people. Those are our tools right now.

Erin: Bryan, what about you? Any parting thoughts about allyship and Pride during the pandemic?

Bryan: Yeah, two quick thoughts just echoing Jace. Seeking out that community is really important, but also hearkening back to our intersectionality conversation. A lot of people are looking for that same sense of community and elevating the voices of people who may not otherwise be heard, events that otherwise wouldn't get large attendance online. Just trying to elevate the voices of queer people is something that you could really do as an ally during Pride Month. The other piece that I wanted to mention is that a lot of LGBTQ organizations that accept volunteers that otherwise are very not online, have started to come up with ways to use online volunteers to accomplish their missions. So looking around for organizations like that, or getting involved in one that's already really online like the Amplify organization that Jace was talking about could be really great ways to show your Pride, or your allyship.

Erin: Well, I'd like to wrap this up by saying that we've talked about some pretty heavy things in this episode. We've talked about homelessness. We've talked about unequal access to health care. We've talked about people growing up in situations that feel unsafe. So I want to leave our listeners with what I think is a phenomenal list of organizations that are available in the show notes that you could reach out to take action on some of these heavy things that we've talked about today. We have links to about two dozen organizations. A lot of them are in the intersectionality space. So a lot of them are at the intersection of the LGBTQ+ community and the black community. There are also some organizations on our list that are not so much intersectional, at least not in their names.

Erin: So I really encourage listeners to at least check out a few of them. Familiarize yourself with the work that they're doing. Potentially get involved, and involvement could be giving time through volunteering. It could be giving skills. Maybe they need help with a website, or maybe they need people to make phone calls. It could be giving money if you're in a position to do so. So those are just a few quick suggestions for how to get involved, and keep the spirit of volunteering that we were trying to capture in this episode going forward and keep putting that out into the world.

About code[ish]

A podcast brought to you by the developer advocate team at Heroku, exploring code, technology, tools, tips, and the life of the developer.

Hosted by


Erin Allard

Platform Support Engineer, Heroku

Erin is a Platform Support Engineer at Heroku and loves helping customers get their software projects and products out into the world.

With guests


Bryan Vanderhoof

Senior Manager, Software Engineering, Heroku

A sometime playwright and once-professional cook, Bryan now leads two teams within Heroku's Runtime department, orchestrating millions of containers.


Jace Bryan

Open Source Program Manager for Education, Salesforce

Jace is passionate about building diverse, equitable, and inclusive open source communities that drive sustainable crowd-sourced innovation.


Eric Routen

Resident Physician, Saint Joseph's Medical Center

Eric grew up in Tampa but currently works as a physician in New York. He hopes to work with an LGBTQ health organization once he finishes residency.

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