now browsing by category
Women’s eNews is running a series that I created: The Ovary Office. The intent of this series is to inspire and encourage WOMEN to run for office. While there are women who have thrown their hat into the Presidential ring, there are many women – in small towns and big cities across this Country – who are standing tall and standing up and fighting for justice. Women who know that mud will be slung, dirt will be dug up, and nasty and cruel words will be said about them. But run they must. For their rights, for human rights, for their children, for their friends and co-workers; for all of humanity. Perhaps you’re as exhausted as I am by the bully pulpit and men who not only disregard women, but treat women as second and third class citizens, men who believe that rape is God’s will, and abuse of power is their right.
Lori Sokol and I met a few years ago and just like that magic happened: we determined that we would try our very best to make this world kinder and better; that we would stand up to racism and sexism and homophobia and xenophobia and abuse of power, that we would create opportunities for all women to have a voice.
Lori Sokol is one of my very favorite Warrior SHEroes, and every single day without fail she rises – without fail – so in my world, my little corner of the world, Lori IS the occasion that I rise up to.
In order for The Ovary Office to continue it’s profound & important work – and for Lori (& WEN) to continue interviews and articles and making a ruckus – making sure women who run for office will be heard and seen and yes, voted in – money needs to be raised.
Lori will be reaching out soon through Women’s eNews and giving Tuesday and I hope that you can dig in a bit and donate to this extraordinary series.
We have the power to change the world, we do, through our words, through our actions, through our hearts, through our deep desire to take back this Country.
We are Mother Earth and we will not be destroyed or discarded or abused.
Those days are long over.
Hey reader, I have a question for you. What is it like, being cisgender in the tech industry? What sort of challenges have you faced? Do people treat you well? It must be really scary, being yourself in such a competitive and high-speed environment.
If you’ve never been asked these questions before, then congratulations; you are not an out transgender person who works in tech. In fact, it’s possible that you may have asked somebody else these questions in the recent past. That’s OK! It’s natural to be curious, and I’m sure you want to be a good ally to your trans coworkers. How will you know how to act if you don’t ask questions, right?
Today’s your lucky day, because I am going to tell you the definitive answer to “what does it mean to be transgender in the workplace?” After you read this, you will never have to ask another trans techie about their experiences, because you will already know the answer, and will be able to act accordingly.
Are you ready?
Being a transgender person in the workplace means having this exact conversation, over and over and over, forever. The question can only be answered by the question itself, ad infinitum. We often spend so much time justifying our presence to others that it begins to feel like our reason for being there in the first place. Why are we here? We’re here to tell you why we’re here.
I’m not here to make you feel bad for asking these questions. Well, maybe a little bit, but I want you to understand when your well-intentioned allyship stops being helpful and starts being intrusive. The fact of the matter is that we’ve got a job to do here, same as you; we just have a few more obstacles to maneuver around as we do it.
If you are serious about making your office a more inclusive environment, remember that changing these things is hard work. Your LGBTQIA+ coworkers will probably want to help or advise you, but it’s as unreasonable to expect them to do it all for you as it would be to have employees with mobility issues to commission handicapped parking spots. We can do it, but it’s not in our job description, and it’s an unnecessary amount of physical and emotional labor to demand of us on top of the actual work we are there to do.
With that in mind, here are some easy steps you can take towards making your workplace welcoming to transgender people. This list is by no means exhaustive, but you’ll find that even these small changes can have a remarkably positive effect on morale, engagement, and teamwork.
First and foremost, respect people’s pronouns. Yes, including the singular “they”, and yes, including ones you haven’t seen before. Consistently misgendering people is the fastest way to make them feel that they are in a hostile environment. Model correct pronoun use yourself, and reprimand cisgender employees who refuse to do so themselves.
Will you get pronouns wrong? Almost certainly. Contrary to what the media may tell you, transgender workers can tell the difference between mistakes and malice. When you do slip up, apologize, correct, and move on. Dramatic mea culpas do more to make us uncomfortable than using the wrong pronoun now and then ever could, because it makes us feel like the jerks in the situation.
An easy way to head off these confrontations is to normalize including pronouns when introductions are called for. This might seem odd to you; one complaint I’ve heard several times from cisgender people is “but my pronouns are obvious.” Good for you, but this isn’t the case for everybody. If the only employees in your company that introduce themselves with their pronouns are transgender, then that’s a way they are othered, a marker that they are separate from everyone else. By making pronouns a default part of introductions, then this barrier between cis and trans workers is torn down.
Does this seem like a lot? It really isn’t, but be prepared for pushback. For some people, even this small amount of consideration will be far too much. The people who push back hardest will probably surprise you; some of them will be people you’ve worked alongside for years, people whose politics you thought you understood. Transphobia isn’t limited to any side of the political spectrum, and can be found in even the most empathetic and liberal individuals.
This leads us to a harsh truth. Transphobia cannot be tolerated in the workplace, whether it manifests as refusing to respect a coworker’s pronouns or harassing them for using the correct bathroom. When it occurs, if you really are serious about fostering an inclusive environment, then your transgender employees will look to you for support. Be prepared to offer sensitivity and diversity training to employees who exhibit transphobic behavior. Stricter disciplinary actions may even become necessary.
Being an ally isn’t easy; as somebody once told me, it’s a verb, not an adjective. It means putting yourself out there, to serve as a shield between your marginalized employees and those that would harm them through actions and words. It also means being open to criticism, and accepting that you do not understand transgender people’s experiences the way you understand your own. If you have the strength, humility, and empathy, then you can make your workplace a beacon of inclusion.
Today I get to read about my mom here at Writers Conference – thank you so much Victoria Zackheim – and I want to share with you how I came to know that I had become the woman she always wanted to be.
It was the last time I saw her. She was in an Assisted Living facility; I now refer to our last visit: Assisted Loving.
I went to spend 10 days with her. I stayed at a hotel nearby, walking distance. Our visit was hard. Some days she was feisty and difficult and irritable, and on others she was tender and frail and gentle. Some days she had no idea who I was, one others I was her Amy; some days she was filled with rage and howling noises, other days she was silent and watching cartoons – her favorite. She wore a soiled nightgown and her hair, once coiffed weekly and curled, was now full on gray and stick straight.
She had once been a beauty – a beauty queen – she was now small and shrinking into her own skin; disappearing physically and emotionally.
I spent time down at the bar at the hotel I was staying at, and went back to my room. Undressed, washed up, got into bed, called Ken and chit-chatted for a while. In the middle of the night I got up to pee. I stopped at the full length mirror, and I looked at myself – full on – naked; and I saw myself: a woman who never had kids, a woman who followed her heart even when her heart was cracked & chipped & yes, broken; a woman who was feisty and crazy-ass and yes, often testy and impatient; a woman who went for her dreams and never gave up even when it felt wholly fucking impossible, a woman who chose a creative path – writing; a woman who chose unconventional and rebellious and shaky as her foundation; and as I stood there looking at my body – a body that was slender but not tight, a body that was strong but not muscular, a body that had so many hidden scars that had turned into stardust, and I knew in that moment, in that hotel, in front of that mirror that I had become the woman my mother always wanted to be.
And in that moment, in that hotel, in front of that mirror I let go of much of the anger & much of the disappointment & much of the bitterness I held onto for so very long and replaced that with a profound appreciation that she – a woman who gave up all of her dreams of being an artist and all of her hopes of living a creative life and her desire to be unconventional – that she brought me into this world.
***Thank you Amy for these beautiful words. They reflect so much that is in my heart about my own momma!”
Hello Rand Paul… my name is Alex Bevan… you don’t know me… but I see what you have done…and are doing… I wish you lived next door to me… there’s a lot I would like to say to you… not in public though…. no… certainly not in public… trust me… i would not call you a piece of shit or threaten you… but… I would talk to you about the trail of political dreck you have left… certainly for your own gain.. maybe a little for your party… but not for us… the Americans who pay for your fucking mis-steps with our taxes, diminished freedoms and injured trust in the our system of government…. yeah… I wish I lived next door to you…. ….. ….
I am so proud and excited to be introducing you to a new podcaster who will begin with us in January 2020. Her name is Sherry Amatenstein, LCSW, who is an NYC-based psychotherapist and author. Sherry will be creating SHERAPY, and you can read all about this right here on the website.
In keeping with the theme of awareness and finding the path to travel or detour in life, this nationally known psychotherapist will be sharing your stories with our listeners. Sometimes it is easier to be anonymous (faceless, nameless) when you begin to open up. I agree with Sherry; we must not be afraid of what we think our frailties are; instead, we must strengthen our inner selves to love life to the fullest.
If you have a story or want to share issues, please contact us here at newclevelandradio.net, and your information will be sent on to Sherry Amatenstein. You need not reveal any information to us other than a name and email so Sherry may connect with you.
2020 is going to be a big year for all of us at newclevelandradio.net, and you don’t need to be in Cleveland, Ohio, to become part of the big picture, your PORTRAIT!
There is so much I wanna say right now, but I’ll keep it short & sweet:
Do your life, do it up, do it big, do it fucking epic; do it with everything you fucking have – everything – it’s your life: love it, cherish it, treasure it, hold it dear and hold it tight, do not let it go.
Make art, create beauty, be messy – messy is so sexy.
Hold another human up, champion another human, support another human, ignite hope in another human; and do not give up on your dreams. Do not. Keep going.
None of us are gonna let you fall.
Have a grand day, people, live & wear your life to the nines.
To my Saratoga and Capital Area Musicians;
It was just three months ago we honored the memory of Charlie Eble and raised money for the new internship program. Well, newclevelandradio.net would like to suggest we do it again and start planning it now. Since that spectacular event in May, I have heard from many of you sharing the comment, you would like to do this again (and again). Charlie has provided us the opportunity to put you all together and share the universal language that kept his toes tapping.
So, I begin by asking Patricia Eble Urell, Joel Moss, Sarah Craig, Jim Mastrianni, and Meg Kelly, are you all in? If so let’s select a date and start planning. It seems like we may have missed out on some musicians that were either out of town or had commitments for the day. The sooner we select a date the easier it will be for the performers to schedule the day.
Some of the comments I have received included starting the event later in the day into the evening. Midday for many is a difficult time to attend, and we could see if it brings more people in. Also if we get it on the Café Lena Calendar early enough we might draw more people including the Concert Window.
I look forward to hearing from all of you, you make me smile!
Originally I was scheduled to work double shifts this weekend, but due to a migraine that came out of the woodwork, Rich was kind enough to step in so I could just work my single shift. The pain and blinding effects started to subside on Friday night but this morning I woke up to a dull feeling on the right side of my head which is a typical indicator of what is yet to come. The Amivig has been working but I am getting a breakthrough this month so I will need to monitor things.
As my friend and life coach shares in her bi-weekly podcast, it is all about being intentional in our thoughts and actions that will help us identify the fork in the road we travel. Candace Pollock has taught me a lot through the Intentionality GURUS! https://www.spreaker.com/show/the-intentionality-gurus-candace-2018-19 now heard on many platforms including Spotify, iHeart, iTunes, Google, and more.
Being Intentional has brought awareness of the beauty of life that surrounds us. I hear my voice when I speak and if I don’t think it sounds kind, in the manner in which I would like others to speak to me, I adjust my tone and take a deviation in the path I was traveling.
I’m just a girl who can’t say “NO” when it comes to helping people I like, love and appreciate. Learning that my brother’s website was not being supported by GODADDY (since it was designed in an old program) I offered to help him set up his new site using WordPress. Now, I use WordPress for this webpage and I have used it for various projects over the years and although it is somewhat user-friendly it is becoming less so as they add components without an explanation or example of what it will do. In fact, while trying to update his pages the circle of life continues to rotate, however, on mine, it is automatically updated! Can I say, WTF?
I am excited to help my big brother as I enjoy producing websites and designing a look that will get the attention it deserves. However, I am getting a migraine and I think I will be calling GODADDY as they combined his site to my WordPress account and I believe this is the issue for the lag in updates.
In addition to putting this together for Just 4 The Spell of It, I want to reach out to all of you that play Scrabble, Words with Friends, Boggle, as well as enjoy the challenges of Crossword Puzzles, and WordSwip. In reaching out I want to announce on August 24th my brother Gary will be bringing JFTSOI to a city near you as he heads out of Southern California driving North and East conducting WORD EVENTS. If you would like to host an event or know of a classroom that may enjoy having the word guru visit them, please feel free to contact:
For some families, the 4th of July is for family, picnics or cookouts, and others it is still another workday. Even if it’s not another workday, you may find yourself alone with no plans either by choice or not. This holiday like so many others, can breed depression. If you are one of the millions suffering today (or any day) face your demons and take a step forward into the light!
Depression is more common than you might want to acknowledge, and you are not the only with these symptoms. Yes, indicators that may be causing you to feel down, worthless, empty, and utterly despondent. Statistically, 1 out of 15 adults experiences this sense of sadness annually. If you are one, it is essential to acknowledge it, embrace it, and get the assistance you may need.
I have been experiencing depression most of my life. However, while I was still living at home under the roof of my parents, their answer to this malady was to keep my chin up. It is easier said than done, and without the proper tools, it may be impossible. For me, it was all about reliving my feels and crying over my woes. Once I was cried out, I was too exhausted to feel miserable, so I put on my happy face and attempted to find the smile behind my mask.
After suffering for almost 64 years, I began to acknowledge my demons in the winter of 2014. Many of those demonic fears were self-imposed and yet I was unaware of that at the time. My journey began by acknowledging I was ill as I took sick leave from my corporate job that I loved; however, the environment was toxic for me. It was with this acknowledgment that I sought help.
Help came through therapies, including psychologically, medically, and spiritually. What I have learned is I am OK! Being OK does not mean perfect. It is the imperfections that make me special, unique, and astonishing. The opinion of others is not what should define me. This five plus year journey has taught me to be true to myself. It is not always comfortable.
Stepping out of my comfort zone was difficult, but I wanted to witness the amazement of loving life. These words are spoken and sung in various ways. Demi Lovato sings about finding the love and self-confidence inside yourself before you seek acceptance from anyone else. https://youtu.be/cwLRQn61oUY
Join me as I continue to share my journey, tell me about yours, and let’s create a safe and loving world. It’s time to become more aware of our needs while accepting that we are not alone. Hold out your hand and acceptance the guidance.
Depression is not a cookie cutter illness, nor is the treatment.