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Thread: Wanting to be an advocate 😝

  1. #1
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    Wanting to be an advocate 😝

    I still have a strong alpha side and in 'guy mentality' I really want to champion the LGBT community.

    I've been watching a lot of hate videos on you tube lately to wrap my head around the 'enemy' and quite frankly it's made me so sick to the stomach I almost want to crawl back into the closet. Don't worry, I'm not, but wow do I ever want to throw up and I personally don't like that feeling!

    This is mostly just a rant I needed to get off my chest but I know there are a LOT of advocates here, my sincerest respect for you and...how do you do it!?

    OK, maybe I jumped into the deep end of the hate pool a little too soon?

  2. #2
    New "old" girl Suzie Petersen's Avatar
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    I wonder what that youtube research did to your FBI profile

    Kidding aside, I have sometimes had a feeling of shock and disbelief when listening to people in their hate rants. Not only against this community, but other "minorities" as well. The hate is so deeply felt by some that it, in their minds, justifies even unthinkable acts.
    At times it feels like an impossible fight to even take on.

    - Suzie

  3. #3
    Living in Kandi's Land Kandi Robbins's Avatar
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    I have often had the same desire to help in some capacity. There is very little we can do as a society about such hate-filled people. That extreme element will always exist and no matter what is done, they won't change. They will always find some section of society to hate. They simply exist to hate, for whatever reason. What we can do is advocate to the significant majority which is simply uneducated or don't really understand us.

    I have posted before that I attend church most Sundays as Kandi. In doing so, I have made a tremendous amount of friends. Yesterday I sat with one of those friends, who has a gay son. She thanked me for just showing up, being there week after week. Her point was that we just need to be more visible to allow others to gain comfort with us. She told me about a young trans girl that she saw at one of the services and felt that people like me getting out have made a difference for those who struggle with their gender, made it just a little easier for that girl to get out. I was certainly touched and know I did nothing special, but I did reflect on many comments I have received that I am so "normal". What that means to me is that people are learning that we are not people to be feared or hated, we are simply like them in many ways. I know it's not easy for many of us, but by simply being out there, showing people that were are not "freaks" but real people, helps a little at a time.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member Teresa's Avatar
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    Robin,
    Steer clear and avoid winding yourself up, many of those people have far bigger problems than we do.

    I bet they don't get as much pleasure out of life doing what they do as we do being dressed !

  5. #5
    Gold Member Rachael Leigh's Avatar
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    One of the things I've done recently is going to a meeting on Trans people and how the workplace should deal with them, it was during Pride month at my job.
    I also decided to join our pride group at work.
    If your concerned something like that would out you don't be support does not mean you are in that group but you can open up with others if you feel the need

  6. #6
    Adventuress Kate Simmons's Avatar
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    While it's okay to get involved with this stuff, my experience has told me to expect to do most of the work as most will peter out after awhile. You really need to be dedicated but just know that others will ride the coat tails of what you have accomplished.
    Second star to the right and straight on till morning

  7. #7
    Yeah Ok like whatever Tracii G's Avatar
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    Just stand up for the community when you hear hate being spewed
    Head Executive Chief of the Dept of Redundancy Dept.

  8. #8
    Transgender Person Pat's Avatar
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    I'd advocate avoiding a we/they mentality. Just calmly state your case. You have no enemy -- there are just people who don't understand us (yet) and it's OK that they don't understand. We barely understand us. (OK, that's probably too optimistic. We clearly don't understand us.) Be calm, be rational and educate. The people you think of as "the enemy" aren't going to be swayed by you. You have to sway the curious and the undecided and then let the weight of public opinion do the work.

  9. #9
    Yeah Ok like whatever Tracii G's Avatar
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    Jennie I totally agree.
    Head Executive Chief of the Dept of Redundancy Dept.

  10. #10
    Female impostornator! docrobbysherry's Avatar
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    In my case? They prefer Sherry doesn't help!
    U can't keep doing the same things over and over and expect to enjoy life to the max. When u try new things, even if they r out of your comfort zone, u may experience new excitement and growth that u never expected.

    Challenge yourself and pursue your passions! When your life clock runs out, you'll have few or NO REGRETS!

  11. #11
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    Thank you for the replies, I think I'm going to take Jennie's advice. I know I can't change the minds of the hard core and for my own sanity I need to just avoid them, it really is about the undecided and curious, why does this sound like politics 😅

    I'll just smile and wave 😊

  12. #12
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    If I remember correctly, you are still employed (as opposed to being retired). Assuming that to be the case, does your employer have an LGBT employee affinity group? If so and if it has been around for a while, it likely has ties to the local LGBT community. It's a way to do some positive things inside of the company and link up with what is happening in the community.

    I recently retired from a company I was with for 23 years. I was involved in diversity and inclusion for about 20 years with various groups and was president of one for 3 years. I also was part of the LGBT group for about 12 years. With the urging and support of the group, my employer actively embraced the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index and has scored 100% for better than 10 years. Long before Marriage Equality, provisions were put in place to equalize health benefits in places where same-sex couple could not marry. In more recent times, health benefits for transgender employees was added. This went a long ways toward supporting gender affirmation procedures.

    The good thing is that it usually isn't necessary to out yourself (if you don't want to) as there will probably be allies in the group with the LGBT folks. We were very careful with our distribution lists as there were a few people who were not out in the workplace. As I spent 6 or those 12 years out of the country, I wasn't always able to participate in person, but I did when I was back home.

    Every Fall the group had an entertainment event that was open to the public. It was our way of maintaining a linkage with the local community and letting folks know that we were here. Although the group didn't have a tremendous budget, we did have sufficient funds to hire comedians who identified as LGBT. In recent years we had Suzanne Westenhoefer (2x), Alec Mapa (who had a continuing role on Ugly Betty), Margo Gomez and a regional duo, The Calamari Sisters. Last Fall we had Ian Harvie. We was our first transgender entertainer and has made appearances on TRANSPARENT. I think Ian transitioned maybe 12-15 years ago. Anyway, as soon as we hired him, the thought came to me the I should volunteer to be the MC for the evening as DeeAnn. I did that and it was the first time I had been out in my then home town other than to drive away to an out of town event or return home. And it was close to home as the auditorium was about a mile and a half from my house. I chronicled everything that happened in a thread here, but the significant points were this. DeeAnn appeared before about 130 people. Later in the month I did 2 presentations about gender identities and showed a photo of DeeAnn to close. In the space of about 3 weeks I outted myself to 200+ people, including my daughter and son, 7 or 8 close friends and my then department manager. Funny thing about coming out. There's like an inertia to it. Once you start, the easier it gets and you start things about who you want to tell instead of who you want to avoid.

    When I originally joined the group it was because I identified as bisexual (still do). Any thoughts of gender identity were just starting to brew. Had I not joined the group, I might have missed out on what turned out to be an extraordinary event in my life. What I learned was that when you drop a stone into the water, you create waves and those waves may touch places that you wouldn't have imagined and caused things to happen that you wouldn't have predicted. But the important thing is that nothing happens unless you first drop that stone into the water.

    So yes, employee affinity groups are a good thing.

    DeeAnn

  13. #13
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    DeeAnn, I'll start by saying I'm a fan (a well spoken and highly accomplished engineer who knows cars...and is one of us, wow!!)

    Yes I'm still in the work force for another 15 years! My organization is very small by typical standards but we have VERY highly evolved organizational units despite outr small size (minimum BSc or Masters, MBA, or even lately PHd prefered for entry).

    Coming to terms so to speak with my 'real' gender identity I do think I'd be a great advocate in my organization and I know I'd be held in high regard for it but I still find it difficult to be a 'strong' influence as anything other than full on masculine! I know that sounds brutality chauvinistic (I've known many high profile women who can easily better the most masculine men on that field).

    I think it comes down to overcompensating, I've been 'that guy' for so long I think I need to be a freaking Barbie doll to be a woman?

    Yah, I guess I'm still working on this gender fluid thing!

  14. #14
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    Thank You so much! It is greatly appreciated.

    One thing to consider regrading advocacy is the there are many roads to town. I've been fortunate in my career to travel to many places. I've been in factories all over the US and others in Canada, Mexico, Europe, South America and Asia. What I've noticed is that organizations take on their own personalities, for whatever reason. What may play well at one location could very well bomb at another. I retired from Corning, Inc. and a long-standing thought is that in many facilities you had to check the sign outside to know that you were in a Corning facility. While that might be a bit facetious, it does reflect the sort of variance that you would see. That would suggest that it is good to sort out what kinds of messages work well in your setting.

    One of the powerful things behind Corning's diversity and inclusion efforts is the realization that great ideas, insightful decisions, etc. have no associated gender, sexual orientation or ethnicity. If you want to be the best, you have to attract the best people you can find. Creating or allowing artificial barriers that prevent finding those people and retaining them keeps you from that goal. That's important because you don't want to give people reasons to believe that your organization is not a good place to be. One caution is that people sometimes get stuck on the notion of the "Best and Brightest". Unfortunately it is possible to wind up with people who have excellent credentials but cannot work together. Definitely a Buzzkill!

    I mentioned the HRC's Corporate Equality Index. If your organization isn't already looking at that, it's a great yardstick for comparison. It isn't a static thing as they ratchet up the requirements every couple of years or so. And you don't get points just because you say you do something. You actually have to present detailed evidence, so it is a pretty serious deal.

    I can see the dilemma that you mention. All I can say is that people appreciate sincerity. None of us have this all figured out; NONE of us. It is always a work in progress. When you speak about where you were, where you are and the difficulties involved in getting from one place to another, it paints the picture of a journey and that's the story that we have to tell. People may be uncomfortable with what you say, but they cannot fault your honesty.

    One of my favorite quotes is from Rachel Maddow:

    "The single best thing about coming out of the closet is that nobody can insult you by telling you what you've just told them."

    DeeAnn

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