Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Shifting Tides

Now that Lori could see, she was the navigator. She got a city map from a gas station and plotted out our routes in advance. We pedaled past the Westward Ho Hotel, down Central Avenue where square-faced Indian women sold beaded necklaces and moccasins on rainbow-colored serapes they'd spread on the sidewalk. We pedaled to Woolworth's, which was bigger than all the stores in Battle Mountain put together, and played tag in the aisles until the manager chased us out. We got Grandma Smith's old wooden tennis rackets and pedaled off to Phoenix University, where we tried to play tennis with the dead balls other people had left behind.
  • Jeanette Walls, The Glass Castle
I have management books. I do. People give them to me all the time saying: “You should read this one. It changed my life!” These books are all about 150 pages.
  • Robert C. Martin

The object of this address, is to convince the public, that a reform, with respect to female education, is necessary; that it cannot be effected by individual exertion, but that it requires the aid of the legislature; and further, by shewing the justice, the policy, and the magnamity of such an undertaking, to persuade the body to endow a seminary for females, as the commencement of such reformation.
  • Emma Willard, “An Address to the Public, Proposing a Plan for Improving Female Education (1819)”

Barriers are falling, and it's about time. With the Federal Court ruling against discrimination of a transsexual woman with regards to employment,  we are seeing the culmination of tide that has definitely shifted in the last 20 years. We are seeing a level of understanding that

Also, it has been a month since I appeared before a panel at SelectHealth to further my appeal to their denial to provide coverage for sexual reassignment surgery. They said then that they would give me a decision in writing in 5 business days. When those 5 days were up, they realized that they needed more time to investigate the information I had provided. Every day, I brace myself for the letter as I check my mailbox, and yet, still nothing. I can only imagine that they are deadlocked and unable to come to a decision. At least, I was not rejected outright. Meanwhile, my estrogen tests came back covered. It's a waiting game.

At work, I am having to overcome a leadership double-standard. As a woman, I am expected to be even-tempered at all times and to be able to influence people tactfully, versus the emotional expressivity usually expected of men. My team lead looked at my performance objectives and said I am "making progress" on my influence skills. I almost laughed. Obviously, he doesn't read QSaltLake or Salt Lake City Weekly. It's interesting to be recognized by people on the street because of those articles, yet the people I work with seem to be completely incognizant of the situation. It's nice.

So part of the strategy to "improve my communication" is to facilitate a reading group that includes leads and developers. The first book on the list? The Leader's Guide to Radical Management. Quite appropriate. I wasn't even on the email distribution list, and now I'm leading the group. We start the discussions in January. Oh the hoops we must jump through.

This weekend, I attended a wonderful 2 hour workshop on improvisational dance by The Lady Fred. She is such a wonderfully sweet person, and absolutely amazing and improvisational expression. She inspired me to return to allocate time for improvisational dance again, which I aim to fully use in piece that Myst is doing for Dancing in the Snow next month. Most of the dancers that attended the workshop are coming from the opposite direction from me: afraid of looking bad doing improvisational dance, they first focused on safety in troupes and choreographies. I, on the other hand, was much more afraid I didn't have it in me to learn a choreography or develop the associated technique; so I took refuge in dancing solo, improvisationally, knowing no one would know if I messed up. I found out earlier this year that, while it does take a lot of work, I can learn a choreography. Unfortunately, I became so bound in trying to overcome my weakness, that I eventually stopped taking enough moments to tap into pure improv. I'm glad I took the class. It will certainly help.

Hugs and God Bless,