Montreal Technology Professionals Make Their Presence Known at Canada Pride
Queer Tech Montreal and sister groups show the growing number of proud geeks in the LGBTQ community.
Amid the loud pomp and colours fit for a mega fiesta, we expect participants in Pride parades to represent a diversity of causes, ranging from fitness, sexuality, health, culture, spirituality and social activism. It’s time to add a new category to this list: technology.
Intersecting Queer identities with technology
The Canada Pride 2017 festivities were unique on many fronts, one being the presence of a handful of activists and community groups representing LGBTQ tech enthusiasts. Take the parade, for instance. Queer Tech Montreal marched with a handful of complementary tech organisations, including Lesbians Who Tech, Gaymers and university groups representing LGBTQ students in engineering and related tech disciplines.
Within the roster of Canada Pride events included the international LGBTQ human rights conference. In addition to Queer Tech Montreal’s presentation on the inclusion of LGBTQ professionals in the tech sector, three more presentations exemplified the melding of Queer identity with technology. Christopher Dietzel of McGill University informed us about sexual harassment and violence in the LGBTQ community perpetuated in the digital realm by hookup apps like Grindr. Claire Gaillard, Luke Smith and Angela Sarakan described their efforts to promote Queer visibility through digital media and podcasting. Olim Omilov and Katie Garrett raised awareness about the plights of intersex people and their efforts to use the internet to unite the diffuse intersex community in Canada.
Further demonstration of tech at Pride this year was Queer Tech Montreal’s event, Pride Hacks. This one-day hackathon united nearly 100 tech professionals to upgrade the tech capacities of five LGBTQ non-profit and charitable organisations.
The future of tech will include Queer people
Seeing the emergence of technology fuse with LGBTQ identities is foreseeable given that the tech sector is central to the economic zeitgeist. Technology indeed has ever more presence in our lives; however, LGBTQ tech professionals remain a small minority as leaders in innovation and face significant challenges in terms of inclusion within tech workforce. We appear to be at a much needed turning point. With confidence, we can expect an even greater number of proud LGBTQ geeks at next year’s Pride festivities where we can show the changing face and growing diversity within the tech sector.
Montreal Technology Professionals Make Their Presence Known at Canada Pride was originally published in Queer Tech Montreal on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.