Pride in Swift is open!

A new Pride in Swift community group is now open here on the forums! This is a safe space for the community of LGBTQ+ engineers working with Swift to support and network with each other. If you’re interested in joining, please follow the instructions at https://swift.org/diversity/#community-groups.

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I think I speak for the project when I say that we would be happy if every part of it could be safe to anyone involved, especially when they are marginalized for any reason(s) whatsoever. This is why the project has a Code of Conduct that governs interaction in all relevant forms of communication — and these forums as well.

The new group does not supersede that wish, but signals a place where instances that are specific to LGBTQIA2+ people who recognize themselves under the Pride banner can be especially heard.

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@Sajjon Can you describe people like me?
You don't even know me but you are talking about people like me.
Just becouse I have asked a simple question.

I just really don't understand why people should create a sub-community based on their sexsual orientation or gender. This forum is related to a programmin language. Lets just keep it like that. I will give some examples for my point of view.

  • I support Free Palastine but I don't think we sould have a sub-community in here for that.
  • I am a Muslim but I don't think we sould have a sub-community in here for that.

This is not just the case for Swift forums. For example in a forum for cars there should't be a sub-community for muslims. It is discriminating. I can lovingly talk about cars with Christians, Jews and Atheists and etc.

I hope you get my point.

Best regards.

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I don't know why non-members of those groups should have a say in this. It's not like LGBTQ+ people use this kind of sub-community to conspire and organize a global power grab. The worst that can happen is that it's superflous and we're wasting a few bits and bytes which is not exactly a scarce resource.

Regarding the "people like you" part: yeah, that's what you get for questioning stuff these days. People make very negative experiences with other people, and as a result, it doesn't even occur to us that somebody could raise such questions in good faith - I'm sure you know that feeling from other contexts. We immediately turn hostile and don't provide reasonable explanations anymore, which is a shame because ultimately, antagonizing everyone who doesn't already agree with you is self-destructive. I don't think that this attitude is how we got decriminalization and widespread acceptance of LGQBT+ identities. However, it's hard to resist that instinct if you live in a place where there's a general attitude of mutual distrust like in the US (where the number 1 perceived threat, according to polls, isn't climate change or the lack of universal health care or even terrorism, but people who vote for the other one of the two parties that the system offers to you).

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Sometime I wish there was a way to discuss these topics without the risk of accidentally kicking a hornet nest. This shelter and this fortified wall might be necessary (it's not my place to judge), but it also makes it more difficult to understand each other.

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Building on what @millenomi said, even if we took as a given that the Swift project in general, and the forums in particular, are safe for everyone to participate in, these communities would still have value because newcomers to Swift don't necessarily know that, and they may feel more comfortable beginning their interaction in an explicitly safe forum. Not everyone feels that way--some folks want to jump right in--but we know from talking to people that these spaces are a valuable way to get people involved who otherwise might be intimidated or uncertain that they are welcome.

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It comes across as disingenuous when you sign up for a forum that you've never posted on to complain about a community group you will presumably never see.

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I like this description of those forums being a welcome area which encourages participation with the full community. That's an aspect which I feel could have been communicated better in the past.

The thing I'm less comfortable with, is if people feel the need to stay in those communities for too long; if there are things that we could do to be more inclusive, that's something which even people who aren't members of those groups should be interested in learning about. For instance, I've found the recent push to use more inclusive and less ableist terminology to be especially informative, and I've changed the terms I use in communication with colleagues accordingly. I've even had somebody privately thank me for taking the initiative to do that.

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There is subtle, yet important, difference between questioning something and asking questions. Your initial comment questioned the need for a community group for LGBTQ+ engineers - which is unnecessary, unwelcome and unproductive.

Ask instead, “what can I do to help to make LGBTQ+ engineers feel as welcome outside if this newly created community group as inside of it. That is asking a question and not to question its need.

You, and me, both men, and maybe you, at least be, being straight has no right to question the need for a LGBTQ+ group.

It is like…. Imagine you are sitting by a square in a town and painting the scenary, going about your business. Along comes some stranger and walking up to to and not in a particular rude way, but in a presumptive way starting to give you feedback on your painting and paintings technique. This is just strange, that person doesn’t know anything about why you are sitting there painting, that person doesn’t know what you want to express with your specific painting and style. In order words: that stranger is not entitled to question your painting and should not do it.

Because of freedom of speech thar person may still chose to express opionions about your painting, but is only risking hurting your feelings and come across as annoying while doing so.

I’m a white, heterosexual, educated cis male without any serious illness or physical limitations, from Sweden, one of the richest countries in the world: I check my privilage and I realize I have no right to question any one in any minority group at all. I will let everyone paint whatever painting they feel like, without saying a word.

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It's beyond me how any individual or group of people can think this forum is not "safe" to participate in. It's a technical forum with moderators and clear code of conduct that you can signup for completely anonymously. What's intimidating about this? Maybe having your noob question ignored?
This serves no purpose beside virtue signaling which is fine I guess.

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I agree, and these community groups are a way to surface issues or barriers to participating in the public forum. When the moderators or the Diversity in Swift work group notice issues being surfaced in the community groups, then we can take steps to address the issues in the broader community.

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One very important thing to realize is that your experience here is not the same as what others experience. For example, not everyone can be here anonymously; some people participate in the forums because it is their job to do so and it’s important to use their real name.

It’s okay to not understand what someone else has experienced, but it’s not okay to invalidate someone else’s experience.

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Exactly.

I am a white, university educated, healthy, cis, man, born in Austria - also one of the richest countries in the world. I come from unimaginable privilege. I can't even fathom how much more difficult and unsafe life for most people in this world is. That's why without question I welcome any and all measures that elevate "other" people. I certainly don't need a separate safe space - the entire world has always been my safe space. That's privilege.

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I want to add that sometimes, when there are issues or needs that are specific to a community, speaking in a generalist forum can invite people that do not have experience in understanding the specific needs of that community to opine whether it is even a problem at all. That can be useful, sometimes — having an outside perspective can be useful to un-entrench…

… but that usefulness often drops when issues are tied to marginalization, and one of the issues with marginalization is the invalidation of one’s priorities and needs that may (often inadvertently) occur when those who do not intersect those marginalizations bring those priorities and needs into question (as has occurred in part in this very thread).

These groups are intended to be places where people with marginalization experiences understand each other’s needs closely, staffed by moderators that also understand those needs closely.

A person that wants to bring up an issue may really not want to bring it up in general discussion if it brings also the work of having to defend one’s life circumstances to a number of other people for whom the experience is alien. These groups ensure that there’s a space where one does not have to do so, and the discussion can start at all thanks to being a less potentially stressful place.

It is up to us as mods to do the work to ensure that those discussions are not just insular, but can affect the community, the process and Swift for the better, by being ambassadors for those needs outside the group if it becomes necessary.

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Can we please just lock this thread and keep drama like this off this site?

Roughly speaking, there are two sides, which I'll try to summarize in as neutral way as I can manage:

  • The "against" side is concerned with the segregation that comes from these spaces, and might be under-estimating the undertones of hostility and intimidation of public internet forums like this. So these see these as net-negative.

  • The "pro" side is concerned with undertones hostility and intimidation (and perhaps over-estimating them) to this general forum that might be exuding people. They see these spaces as this as one way to try to overcomes this, and think they are net-positive when weighed against the downside of having insular sub-communities.

I don't see either side acting in a way that demonstrates that they believe their opposition might have something worth saying. In such a pretext, discussion becomes performative and futile. Each side is says their bit, the other side gets outraged, and the cycle continues.

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We leave discussion threads open to allow for honest questions and discussion. This is how we build a more tolerant and inclusive community.

I think an important missing piece from your characterization here is that many people on the "pro" side have experienced undertones of and direct hostility.

I disagree. I believe Aura and myself, along with a few others, have acknowledged the subtleties that may lead to a perception that these community groups are contradictory or harmful, and have patiently explained why we believe that is not the case, both here and on the Diversity in Swift announcement thread. There have also been several individuals who were initially against the community groups who have changed their mind as a result of the discussion. Some of the feedback on these announcement threads have also given us insight about language that can be clarified on Swift.org or in future announcements, and how we can be more transparent about Diversity in Swift decisions and initiatives in the future.

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I think this is a misdiagnosis, which makes it sound as though the only reason one might disagree is because they're some combination of ignorant, misguided, uncivil or un-empathetic.

There's no credit given to the possibility that "the opposition" might just have an informed and valid objection to these policies. I'd ask everyone involved to have the humility to consider this possibility, towards each other.

Without that pretext, a productive discussion just isn't possible. Both sides just feel like they're on a righteous crusade to civilize the masses, and that just doesn't work.

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Instead of asking "what's the worst that can happen", perhaps we should also be asking "what's the best that can happen".

The best that can happen is that we get more people contributing to Swift that might have otherwise been reluctant to participate, we get more unique perspectives that inform the community, actively encouraging participation results in more participation, and …

As @tkrajacic pointed out, many of the participants on Swift Evolution (myself included) participate because we are welcomed by default. There are many who are not, and it is in line with Swift's unofficial goal of World Domination to be welcoming to everyone with something to contribute.

(@Anachron this is not addressed specifically to you, nor is it meant to be critical of you in any way)

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