Eric Rodriguez

EricRodriguez

Eric and DropBox volunteers
at 2014 Vantage Art Show

 

Eric Rodriguez is an organizer of PrideBox, the LGBT employee resource group at DropBox. Eric and his colleagues were volunteers for the Vantage Points art show at Openhouse. He sat down recently with Joel Evans to talk about why he volunteers at Openhouse.

Joel: What’s special about LGBT older adults?

Eric: LGBT older adults are heroes to me. They grew up in times that were much less accepting. Many of them fought for the rights of generations that followed making our lives easier. Whether they were able to express their identity openly or not throughout their adolescence and early adulthood, LGBT older adults are fighters and survivors and we have a lot to learn from them.

Joel: Why volunteer at Openhouse?

I immediately connected to Openhouse’s mission of helping LGBT seniors overcome the challenges they face as they age. LGBT seniors have every right to be proud of who they are and live their life openly without having to worry about how that can impact their care. Openhouse works every day to create a community where they are cared for and where they belong. That’s priceless and worth supporting to me as I know it’s something that I would want around me as I age.

Joel: Why a team from DropBox?

Dropbox is in the early stages of developing our employee resource group. One of the focuses of Pridebox, the LGBT employee resource group, is to get involved in the community and give back wherever possible. We sought out non-profits that we believed were engaging in meaningful work and found Openhouse! We’re excited to keep partnering with Openhouse in whatever way possible in the future.

Joel: What has this experience taught you?

Eric: This experience has solidified for me the fact that older LGBT adults are a fountain of knowledge and experience. Through volunteering I loved hearing about people’s paths to San Francisco and their adventures and challenges. I learned how strong and resilient we, LGBT people, are and gave me more impetus to live my life openly and do everything I can to help younger generations do so as well.

Joel: Has it added to or changed your experience of living in SF?

I think it made me appreciate SF more. I came to SF in great part to live my life openly and was always interested in getting to know those who came decades before me with the same goal. This experience allowed to do so and I hope to continue learning more about people’s experiences and through them, learn more about the city.

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