This is a second drafted letter (also drafted before the meta post) addressing more specifically the issues the LGBT+ community feels it is necessary to address. You can read this letter in full and sign it on the same website as the primary letter. Signatures are welcome from both members and allies of the LGBTQ+ community. Thank you.
Dear Stack Exchange, Inc.,
We, the undersigned moderators and users of the Stack Exchange network, feel that it is necessary to elaborate on a few points that were omitted in our general letter, in order to keep that letter focused.
We are members and allies of the LGBTQ+ community, and we are hurt.
We are hurt that in the time since the announcement of change in the Code of Conduct was made, we felt unfairly targeted by transphobic attitudes that were dismissed as "friendly discussion", not only by the community at large but also by other moderators.
We are hurt that over the years, there have been multiple users and moderators who have stepped away from using the site because they felt unwelcome due to anti-LGBTQ+ behavior by the community (and sometimes even moderators). The affected users and moderators have given multiple testimonies to that effect, yet have received no response from Stack Exchange, Inc.
We are hurt at how long it has taken for us to be heard, and hurt by how now that we are being heard at all, it has been tainted by mishandling by Stack Exchange, Inc, causing the community to be doubtful of our goals.
We are hurt that resignations from LGBTQ+ moderators have only started to receive notice due to the uproar over a correlated issue.
We are human, we are hurt, we are tired, and we ask that Stack Exchange, and the community as a whole, listens to our concerns.
We ask that several things be done:
- We ask that Stack Exchange, Inc does more to pay attention to the complaints and requests of the LGBTQ+ community and does more to ensure that rules are properly applied such that LGBTQ+ people are treated with the same respect everyone should be treated with.
- We ask that the consequences for not respecting members of the community be more explicit, and be consistently carried out. Too many times have transphobic or homophobic comments gone by with no response from the Community Team, leaving LGBTQ+ individuals to explain their own validity again and again and again.
- Moderating is hard, and the LGBTQ+ community has been underrepresented in media for long enough that many moderators do not know how to handle some specific situations. Some moderators have requested sensitivity training. This would help those who work so hard on behalf of the Stack Exchange community to receive the support and guidance they need to carry out their duties.
It is time for something to be done about a situation that has become, frankly, untenable. Please listen to us - each of us, individually. The ways we have been hurt vary, and the things we feel could improve the situation vary. Too many of us have already left because nothing has been done. Thank you.
[Editor’s note: LGBT+, LGBTQ+, and similar are used interchangeably. We refer to the entire group of gender, romantic, and sexual minorities, or the ‘Lavender’ community.]
[Second editor’s note: This was written before the most recent meta post by the Stack Exchange team, and we thank them for their acknowledgement of the situation, in particular of the harm they have caused to the LGBTQ+ community on Stack Exchange. However, the issues addressed in this letter go beyond just the incident of the past week, and so we are still releasing this letter, both for transparency, and the broader commentary it contains.]
Please: Sign on the actual letter here
(As of this edit, there are over 175 signatures.)