The following is a Q\u0026amp;A interview with Joey Rosenberg, The Chief Leadership Officer for Women Who Code on her feelings about pride, her thoughts on the LGBTQ tech community, and her own journey in tech.What does pride mean to you?Pride is about coming together to celebrate being your authentic self. It’s about demanding a safe space that offers a sense of belonging for me and my community, in a world where my family isn’t always safe or valued by others. And it’s a space where I can honor my chosen family - the ones with whom I’ve walked this road. We’ve helped each other learn to live freely and there’s nothing more beautiful than taking this moment to honor that. What is the greatest challenge you've had to overcome professionally being part of the LGBTQ community?Professionally, being queer is something that people still lose their jobs over. I came out really young, so I’ve spent my entire career knowing who I am. I think my very first barrier was just getting on track. I came out in a small, rural, pretty conservative town where religious leaders often used their own agenda to set the tone for right and wrong in a community. And, even though I was a high-performing student with all of the markers for success, I lost a lot of my support system when I came out. I spent most of my late teens and early twenties just trying to find my footing and survive. I didn’t really have the luxury of choosing a career path and designing it, I just had to keep moving. It wasn’t until my mid-twenties that I finally found the courage to overcome that. I started making decisions differently. I put education at the center and surprisingly, found a lot of resistance to that. But, I prevailed and started focusing on not just moving, but moving forward. Once I found my footing, the struggle came in the form of knowing the right time to come out at work. People often assume that I’m straight, that my wedding ring means that I have a husband. Playing the pronoun game can be really tricky, but it’s something you learn to do when you just don’t have the bandwidth to have the real conversation.Eventually, I decided that I would only give my talent to companies that value me. I made a habit of asking about same-sex benefits at the interview stage, so I could know right up front. Sometimes that resulted in not getting a callback, but sometimes people would surprise you.For example, one of the companies that I asked told me ‘no,’ but that they’d look into it. And they did. Within a month of coming on board, they had same-sex partner benefits in place. I worked for that company for seven years. More recently, as an executive, the hardest thing for me has been recognizing my responsibility to live out loud. While I do that in my personal life comfortably, I’m less comfortable bringing that personal life forward to the workplace. I’ve learned though, that once you are in a position where it’s safe to make decisions like that, coming out becomes a responsibility to be a voice for all of those who can’t. It’s not always easy, but it’s necessary. How has Women Who Code helped LGBTQ members in tech?Tech is an interesting industry. It’s a career that requires life-long learning, so having access to resources and access to people who care about your success, even when it feels impossible, is important. It’s also a culture that can be hard to find a sense of belonging in. That’s a pretty common barrier that queer people spend their whole lives overcoming - and finding your community is critical. Women Who Code offers that. Something that struck me when I first joined Women Who Code is that the community felt trans and queer inclusive, and that’s not always true of groups that support women. Historically, I’ve felt out of place in women’s groups, but I always felt like I belonged at Women Who Code.Every leader I’ve ever interacted with from Women Who Code has demonstrated that it is important to actively support the rights of queer and trans people. Our Code of Conduct, which I helped write, has been a big part of maintaining that focus as we’ve grown over the years. What is the future for the LGBTQ community in tech?My hope for the future is that we see ourselves better represented, with more queer founders, more products and services that meet our needs, and more inclusion in the products that already exist. I also think that the queer community has a responsibility to check its own privilege and bias. We are rich with diversity. We know from experience that our chosen family is often a stronger bond than our biological family and that our chosen family is often a beautiful tapestry of difference that comes together as a powerful force. It’s important that we ensure that all of the people in our community experience that power and sense of belonging in this industry and beyond. Is there something you're excited about this pride month?I think I’m just excited to connect, especially with the people we’ve been missing for the last year and a half. I’m also excited that it feels like we have renewed momentum. The last few years have felt like a reversal of gay rights and we’re at this turning point where forward progress feels possible again.At the same time, there are threats to equality all around us, but it feels possible to overcome them. I’m excited to celebrate the possibility of forward progress. I’m excited that people like Billy Porter have a voice and a strong loud platform right now, and that people, in general, seem to have a better understanding of what it means to include the queer community. There are more allies right now fighting for equal rights than ever. What can others do to help raise awareness?Be intentional. Whether you are designing a product, leading a team, implementing code, or considering where to invest. Ask yourself if diverse voices within the queer community are represented. Consider how you ask questions, how you choose what to fund, what not to fund, and why. Raise others up. Submit an #APPLAUDHER to raise visibility about LGBTQ+ engineers in tech. We intentionally work to ensure that Women Who Code is a safe space. You should be actively working to create a safe space for your people too.