How to San Francisco

Cover image from Trees #4 by Warren Ellis and Jason Howard

Last week, Apple announced WWDC and from the start it was apparent this one was going to be harder than previous years. The roll out of the news was not as controlled as Apple normally works. Then this came across my Twitter feed from Michele Titolo:

Apple has always been pride friendly, so the lack of a code of conduct to promise those attending that it would be a safe place to think differently was disappointing. This month Facebook’s F8 and Microsoft’s Build conferences in San Francisco both had code of conducts to help protect people from being bullied. It’s supposed to be in Apple’s DNA, but most importantly: it’s what makes San Francisco so great.

Tech companies often pay a lot of money for people to move out here. People come here for the tech jobs. San Francisco has always been a city of immigrants. That’s how it works. My worry is that San Francisco may have more people come here for employment (or internships) than for the city.

I’m constantly recalling this panel from early in the Trees comic book series by Warren Ellis and Jason Howard. The scene occurs when a boy immigrates to a highly populated city and meets a girl. This is how he reacts when he finds out she is transgender, and this is how she handles it:

“We accept each other here. [San Francisco] is where we get to grow up in our own way. Me. You. Everybody”

Trees #4 by Warren Ellis and Jason Howard

These words echoed in my mind ever since I read the issue. Every time I walk around San Francisco and observe to myself “that guy has too many tattoos” or “oh that’s what those manbuns everyone is hating on is” or “why is that group of guys naked?” Because honestly: who gives a shit. It has nothing to do with me. I’m here to be my authentic self, and so are they. Just because I may not be a fan of piercings does not mean I get to judge others who are.

I hope the people moving here learn to be more accepting. I hope the people visiting here become more accepting. It might be too late for WWDC, because early buzz is the developers attending are already upset that there may be people who cannot afford iPhones around them as they walk to the keynote.

Please be respectful of San Francisco and the people of San Francisco.