Thursday, September 13, 2012


Last night was kinda atypical for me.

I spoke all day in Washington DC, caught the Metro back to Vienna, and hit the road to head back to Raleigh by 6:30.  I could probably have  by midnight, but after a very full day (actually, a very full week), dealing with the end of DC rush hour traffic on I95 headed south, and the need for a good night sleep I fought my general inclination push all the way through and spent the night in Roanoke Rapids.

I finished the drive this morning - it's absolutely beautiful weather here right now and I watched the sun coming up as I hopped back onto I-95 for the rest of the drive.  All in all, a good plan.

Funny story:  I was adjusting my rear view mirror to "night mode" last night (in the rental car) and accidentally pushed a button that apparently called OnStar.  I started pushing other buttons hoping to hang up quickly, which I managed to do.  But 5 minutes later this voice just started talking to me asking the nature of my emergency.   I explained my mistake - I wonder how many of those kinds of things they get.

I may have mentioned that I was in DC to do a training for one of the government agencies to support an employee who is transitioning there.  I've done a half-dozen or more of these in DC and they generally go very well.  Often the people who plan these events work for the EEO office, or for HR in some significant capacity, and become very invested in the outcomes.

Thanks to everyone at NLRB who made yesterday's sessions a success.  We had 3 2-hr sessions - the first one for managers and supervisors was mandatory.  The "buzz" from the first session helped to fill the room for both afternoon sessions.  Talking all day like that is more tiring than you realize sometimes, but you often don't realize it until the adrenaline of the "moment" wears off.  For me, that was around 9pm.

Speaking of energy, I'll share a couple of sentences from the email I received from the person at the agency who helped arrange it all:
I have received so many comments from people across the agency telling me that they have never attended anything at work as impressive and meaningful as your presentation.  Your openness, honesty, vulnerability and humor were incomparable.  Moreover, your stamina is equally remarkable.
Stamina just comes with the territory I suppose.

And....speaking of telling stories.....

I've done a good job of staying out of "trans issues" here for a while.  That's not by accident.  There was a time when this blog was at least half dedicated to that, but the blog has changed as my own life balance has changed.

However, there's something today that I feel compelled to comment on.  It's a segment from Anderson Cooper's talk show.  More specifically, it's NCTE's reaction to it that I find comment-worthy.  (Details here)

In a statement from NCTE:
“In the past, Anderson Cooper and his team have earned a great deal of respect from trans people for their coverage of our issues. Tomorrow, they’ll throw all of that away. Worst of all, they seem set on misinforming the public about the causality of trans identity.”
I totally disagree with both those sentences.

First, if anyone accepts that the trans community is a community of communities, then how can there be such a thing as a singular "trans identity", much less a cause for it?  As distasteful as this particular guest may be, or as confused as the way they approach their supposed trans-ness seems - nobody gets to manage the media or the stories it chooses to tell.  Responsible media is a myth.

What's the difference between saying that taking a baldness med caused it, or a bee sting, or anything for that matter?  That's not the point.  And as misguided as this individual may or may not be an organization that distributed stickers after ENDA saying "Am I too freakin' trans for you?" can't go around saying someone is too freakin' trans.  An organization that focuses on the importance of "telling your story" can't then cherry-pick stories that it may not want told.  You can't have it both ways.

Secondly, the fact that Anderson Cooper is airing this show this does NOT undo all the positive work they've done.  It's just plain wrong to believe, or to even say, that.  Mara and NCTE (and any of us, for that matter) can express their collective disappointment, but saying this this this way is an opinion I, for one, don't share.

Lastly - the fact that NCTE is complaining about it that way is giving it way more visibility than it deserves.  It could have been an opportunity to tell BETTER stories but now...well.....I'm just saying...

As for me - well, tomorrow I head back to Charleston after a morning full of meetings to turn in my car and pick up my truck.  I may have a training class all day on Saturday.  I hope to spend a little "me" time (maybe at the ocean on Sunday?) before driving back to Raleigh late Sunday.  Then Monday...another week begins.


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