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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.
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.
For the last four days, I have been playing with the website, or attempting to and spending most of my time on the phone with GODADDY, who is helpful, but the situation has been annoying. The first REP tells me that I am accessing my website incorrectly. However, I have been accessing it in the same manner for almost three years and had no real problems until this weekend. Although he initially got me into my site, it stopped working.
Call #2 instructed me that WordPress had issues and that since I was not paying for a secure website I was encountering these errors and it would only get worse. They want on to explain viruses, etc., and scammers who debug and bug the media and if I had a secure website with them, they would be responsible for the fixes and if anyone got infected visiting my site. Another insurance policy needed, and $1000 plus spent that newclevelandradio.net doesn’t have but we had to find it!
OOPS – Call #3 site still not working and now I am told the server we were on had problems, therefore, denying me access to my pages. I was kindly told they would inform me when the site was repaired. Did you get that email or phone call, I didn’t but it appears to be working. Also in the URL address, there is a lock for security so my money is going to good use – I hope!
newclevelandradio.net is now venturing out to add sponsors to our webpage. We will have their adds link to their websites and or Facebook page or phone # whatever works for them. It is important for us to continue to support individuals, like yourself, to have the strength to follow your journey through the challenges of life. We also hope to bring you more podcasting that will assist you to face your daily challenges.
If you or anyone you know would like to sponsor our website and or podcast with us, we would like to hear from you, WE ACCEPT PAYPAL.
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:
To find all our shows in one place go to https://www.spreaker.com/user/newclevelandradio – SPREAKER
However, if you want a specific show go to https://newclevelandradio.net/podcast-replays/ Use the drop to select a specific show or episode on the format of your choice – Spotify, iHeart, iTunes, Google or Castbox.
If you want to podcast with us please email Karen at newclevelandradio@gmail.
This is my opinion – Karen Moss Hale
Last night I had no intention of watching Part 1 of the Democrats Debate. However, I did watch it, and I was amazed at the talent and mostly the compassion in many of these #WANT-2-B-Presidents. I went into this not wanting to like Elizabeth Warren, thinking she had her chance in 2016, but I see a different person in her now. She truly cares; she is the mom, teacher, nurse, doctor, and mentor that we need. Yet I saw the spark in the eyes of others who I felt were also believable. I have trusted Julian Castro since his introduction through Obama years ago. I understood the use of Spanish and English in his remarks last night, however, when my grandparents and yours came here from far-away lands speaking in their tongue, part of becoming a U.S. citizen was learning English and be capable of communicating with all. I am not against having a native language like Spanish, French, Yiddish, etc., but we all must learn to speak in the same language. We are a melting pot, and we must be able to blend together, bringing our strengths to the table and improving upon our weaknesses.
Personally, Cory Booker is another fine politician and human, and he reminds me of President Obama, and for my family and me although we had our own personal struggles during his period in office, we felt safe and optimistic. The stats from last night say Booker and Castro were at odds with each other and this is something that we must overcome. The Democratic System is about choice, freedom, and rights. It is also about collaboration and not compromise. Many of the #WANT-2-B-Presidents said it; it is not about starting a new project; it is about taking what we have and making it better. Whether you agree or not, that is what the Affordable Care Act was about. It was the starting point to help provide that all AMERICANS have affordable care despite their age and or income level! Why should we throw the baby out with the bathwater when we can hold tight to the baby and reconstruct the bath temperature?
Tonight is yet another #WANT-2-B-Presidents debate, and I am sure there will be a lot more rhetoric being spewed, some real and like some else says, some fake! However, we are still living in a free country where we can listen, observe, discuss, and make the right decision.
- Healthcare is a given if we are going to grow and capable of living full lives.
- Education must allow teachers to instruct, guide, and mentor, stop putting handcuffs on them, and education must be equalized for all no matter how economically rich or poor the community is!
- The government must listen to the constituents, hear what they want, need, and require to be leaders in their families, communities, and beyond.
- Stop creating wars, communication with our Ally’s and Enemies must be the focus and not threats that bring on retaliation.
- We MUST face the fact we are killing mother earth, and we have the ability to stop it. New innovations are at our fingertips, and these skills can be taught and change both the political and natural resources climate.
Before my mother died in 2016, I promised her that Donald Trump would not be elected. Sadly, I could not keep my promise. Many people enjoyed his promises about “Making America Great Again,” the problem was, it was already Great, and now it is in pain! We need a new doctor in the house.
Good Morning World! Although we all may feel safe in the cocoon of our own home, family, and friends, there are many outside forces producing unrest and fear. It is necessary for us, you, me, and all those we know to take a step out of our comfort zones and begin challenging the odds.
Whether you watched the ABC special last night of the “Flying Wallendas” crossing over Times Square, it was fearful as well as amazingly exciting. Although this is not a feat for most of us to attempt, the concept of facing one’s fears and taking one step at a time is something we all can and should do.
Despite our political beliefs, we must find a way to collaborate and communicate. The art of communication is listening and dissecting fact from fiction. If we do not confront our distress of the real news and listen only to the fake news, we will not be capable of moving forward and growing.
On this first Monday of Summer 2019, find the sunshine behind the clouds, and be the change you want to see in this overwhelming world. Take a deep breath and smell the roses, the rain, the freshness of life. If it feels musty and moldy, this is your opportunity to light the way and clean up the remnants.
Empower yourself while lending a hand to those who may need guidance.
The following is something I read on Facebook today, although I do not know this mother personally, I understand her story all to well. I believe her story, as I have seen this all too familiar scenario played out due to ignorance as well as unawareness to our special needs community. Our communities are not comprised of all perfectly “normal” human specimens. In fact, the quote that normal is only a setting on a washing machine or dryer is very true. As we are all snowflakes, not one of us is identical to another, we all have our quirks.
When will we learn to be tolerant, accepting, and encompass the diversities we encounter on a daily basis? When trusted medical doctors, nurses, and other healthcare officials cannot be trusted, it is time to change the system. Approximately 17 years ago a Psychiatrist at the Cuyahoga County Board of Mental Retardation, informed my son (who was 11 at the time), my husband and myself, that he (our son) should give up his dreams and passion for baseball. She told him his dreams were too lofty and that he was destined to living in a half-way house and performing menial jobs.
As parents, we refused to listen, and we argued with her that she was wrong despite a complete case study she provided us with to prove her point. Today, not only did my son graduate high school with a 3.0+ GPA, attend college and receive a BS in Business Management, he has also been an Autism Advocate, and for over a year he has worked with the Cleveland Indians and has accepted two advancements. He is living his passionate dream despite the ignorance of a “trusted” professional. If we had listened and given into her diagnosis (not the one of our son’s neurologist) we would have not only ruined our son’s life but destroyed much of ours as well.
Anyone who knows someone on the spectrum most likely has a similar story, and we must continue to bring the REAL SPECTRUM AWARE to light. April may be Autism Awareness Month, but for the one out of sixty-four and their families, Autism Awareness must be every day. #IGNORANCENOTACCEPTED! #webothhavesonsbythenameofAlex
APRIL IS AUTISM AWARENESS/ACCEPTANCE MONTH
Why this is so important to me and many of my very dear friends…
Our story that changed me forever…
June 2015 Alex had a horrible sinus infection. He was in terrible pain, but because his verbal skills are limited, he did not know how to express how he was feeling. All he knew is he needed relief from the pain. He ended up hitting himself which resulted in 2 black eyes. As my poor “Gentle Giant” baby was lying in bed that night, his eye started to bleed. Although I was very skeptical on how he would be treated there I knew (thought) he needed to go to the hospital where they would give him something to make him feel better. And that my friends is where Alex and my Horrific Nightmare Began…
Before this, I think we kind of lived in a bubble. Beachwood is kind of a small town where most people know each other. So most people knew Alex for the funny, smart, fun loving, Gentle Giant he is. On top of that, he attended an Autism School. So acceptance in the community was just part of our world. Never did I imagine he would go to a hospital 10 minutes away from our house where the minute he came through the doors, he was treated like a monster.
All these doctors saw was a 6’4” man with 2 black eyes not happy. They didn’t care that he was not happy because he was in pain. When I told them he had autism, they actually said to me “We have never had anyone here with autism before” I called Bullshit on them. “Really? 1 in 64 and he is your first?”
They put him in 4 point restraints and sedated him. They would not treat his sinus infection even though I insisted. I stayed with him 24/7. I slept in a metal folding chair and only left for a couple each night when someone I trusted at the time would come so I could shower. I heard and saw everything that went on. I would tell them he is in pain. I would beg them to give him something for his pain. They would say “He is sedated he doesn’t feel anything” I could see he was in pain. They didn’t care. To them, he wasn’t a person. He got pneumonia and ended up on a ventilator. This went on for 3 WEEKS! I fought with them, I yelled they DIDN’T CARE!! I tried telling them what a wonderful boy he is. THEY DIDN’T CARE!! To them he was a very large disabled “monster” The doctors would talk around me. Like I wasn’t there. They told me if he got out they wanted to send him to a mental hospital. They treated him like a crazy monster. They didn’t care; I was his mother and legal guardian. They acted like I knew nothing about him. They didn’t believe anything I told them. Me and others that saw him never said the words but knew he was going to die there. They were going to kill him. I begged for him to get transferred out of there. I thought of ways to sneak him out. Finally, after 3 weeks, they sent him by ambulance to the main Clinic where after 2 more weeks they were able to get him off the ventilator. He was left immobile. They wanted to send him to rehab, and I said “NO. NO MORE. I WILL DO ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING TO HAVE HIM REHAB AT HOME!”
Thank God Alex has the Fershtman determination and hard work ethic. It took a while but he had to learn to walk and feed himself again. And most importantly he had to learn to TRUST again.
He had nightmares from this experience. I slept with him every night for 1 year. I still have nightmares. And unlike Alex, I have not learned to trust again.
You know how they say “Once you are in Hell nothing else frightens you” It is true. I was there and I do not get intimidated by anything anymore. Alex and I are both fighters. We are survivors. If we made it through Hell we can make it through anything!
Even making this move. I knew it was the best thing for both of us but I thought the transition might be a little hard for him. However, I knew we would get through it. If we survived our horrific nightmare we would survive transition issues. Thankfully he has been so happy here since day one! I promise This will NEVER HAPPEN TO ALEX AGAIN! I WILL DO ANYTHING AND I REALLY MEAN ANYTHING TO MAKE SURE IT DOESN’T!! And I also promise I will make sure everybody will always treat him as the sweet, loving funny person he is!
AND WE AS A COMMUNITY NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT WHAT HAPPENED TO ALEX NEVER EVER HAPPENS TO ANYONE AGAIN!!!
REMEMBER, PEOPLE WITH DIFFERENT NEEDS ARE STILL PEOPLE AND DESERVE TO BE TREATED AS PEOPLE!!! NOBODY’S LIFE IS WORTHLESS BECAUSE THEY HAVE ANY KIND OF SPECIAL NEEDS!!!
And I don’t care who you are if I hear you say otherwise I will call you out on it every time!!!
THIS IS NOT A POLITICAL STATEMENT SO PLEASE DON’T MAKE IT ONE!
THIS IS A STATEMENT ABOUT PEOPLE PERIOD!!!
AND A STATEMENT ABOUT AUTISM AWARENESS AND ACCEPTANCE!!
ps. I cannot promise that this is my only Autism Post this month… so Buckle Your Seatbelts Kids!!
***Annette Scott & Sandi Fershtman – thank you for sharing and now let’s home we can touch the hearts of humanity (and medical professionals) to understand that Autism touches us all!