I've had to hit the ground running here and so far I'm feeling good that I'm keeping a pretty good pace.
What does an Executive Director do on a typical day? That's hard to say because in my case no one day has been like another. Every day is full of new "stuff" which is what makes it all so interesting.
Take yesterday as an example. I met with the director of the local Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce for lunch. A local newspaper reporter came to the office for an interview. I visited with the sales manager at one of the large local hotels to gather pricing and facilities information for planning our big Autumn banquet next year. Someone from NCTE who specializes in Health Care policy came to town so a group of us met for dinner (thanks to the local AIDS alliance!) before she talked. Then, out for a glass of wine with some friends. I finally got back to my hotel room at 10.
Today? Vacation day. I'm going to the gym. I'm catching up on bills. I've got several places to look at to live and hope that tonight is my last night in a hotel. It's supposed to be 60 degrees and sunny here today which is absolutely amazing for this time of year. I keep joking that it's going to stay like this all winter but we all know that it's not. Still, I'm enjoying it while I can.
For some reason I've been doing a lot of media stuff lately. It's not like I go out and seek it - it just happens. For example, earlier this week I got a call from a reporter at ABC who wanted to talk about a story out of the UK about someone who transitioned from M2F and ultimately transitioned back. That's certainly their right. What made news was this person's assertion that they had been coerced to transition by doctors and therapists. Furthermore, she asserted that transsexuals were "delusional" and needed to be stopped, surgeries needed to be banned.
The reporter and I had a good conversation but one of the things about media is that, despite the best of intentions, the ultimate goal is to attract readers. How? Sensational titles. Editing the interview in a way that focuses on extremes. As frustrating as that can be sometimes that's just the way it is. So, when you do what you think is a good interview and the end result is very disappointing you can't get too bummed.
All that said - the interview appeared on ABC.com yesterday morning (read it here). From the title to the photos to the general slant of the story - fairly typically sensational. But it is what it is and I'm hopeful that the ultimate message is a positive one, not a freakish one.
Late last week I got a call from the editor of MetroWeekly, a very nice magazine in Washington DC, about doing an interview and a photo shoot. I went to DC on Friday and we did it - they're a really good group of people and I had a very pleasant afternoon. They asked some good questions and we took a bunch of photos. Anyway, the end result came out today. (read it here)
I don't think I've never been on a cover before. Anyway - it's a nice contrast to the sensational stuff. I'm glad they let me do my own hair and makeup because when other people do it I never look like myself. For better or for worse - this is pretty much how I look on any given day. It's the best I could do after driving the couple of hours from Harrisburg to DC, walking a few blocks to their building, changing in a small bathroom, and trying to smile.....
There are a number of things coming up as well. I suppose doing press is simply part of the job now and I'm no stranger to it but it's nice when things come out well.
Back to living here in the hotel for a minute. It reminds me a little of living in a dorm room. Doing my laundry costs $3.00 in quarters. They provide breakfast. The room itself is fine. I've become something of a minimalist in recent years so I don't need too much.
Last night at the talk about Health Care one woman there said something to the effect that I'm technically "Disabled" because I'm trans. I told her that I'm not. She told me that I am. I adamantly refuse to accept that label for myself and in no way perceive my life situation to be disabling in any way. Challenging? Yes. But disabled? No friggin' way. I have no problem with others who believe differently or who play the system because they can but that's not a path I'm going down...
Time to get on with the day!