by Pat Baillie, Director of Training and Professional Development | Nancy Mace and I traveled to Atlanta last week and had a chance to work with Turner Broadcasting, the Atlanta Regional Affiliate, Melissa Regan – producer of the film No Dumb Questions, and the Nash family, who starred in the No Dumb Questions film.
The Tuesday night filming at Turner Auditorium was packed. We had over 80 attendees who joined us to watch the original No Dumb Questions video which chronicles a family who has just learned that Uncle Bill is becoming Aunt Barbara. The three girls, Chelsea, Olivia and Abbey were 11, 9 and 6 when filmed 10 years ago, when they first learned about the transition. Their open honesty with questions and reactions to Barbara’s transition shows the human side of a family coping with change and becoming more aware and stronger because of the change. We also saw an update that Melissa Regan did 5 years ago. After the viewing, we were treated to a panel discussion with the girl’s dad, John and the three young women. They have each grown in the awareness and advocacy in their own ways and this was the first time they all got to see the film with an audience. The simple, clear, practical questions asked 10 years ago charmed the audience but the powerful story the girls tell now inspired the audience. Vandy Beth Glenn, whose reinstatement in Georgia State government was a milestone to gender identity equality in the workplace, and Lori Fox added their perspectives on the panel and spoke to the experience of transitioning.
We adjourned for the night and met again in the morning with 40 attendees at the Creating Transgender Inclusion in the Workplace workshop. Lori Fox, Nancy Mace, Melissa Regan and I used the course to take a deeper look at the workplace. Melissa showed clips of Barbara in the workplace and how her associates reacted in an academic environment (in Utah). We also had a panel that included Turner associates, who talked about their perspectives from a transitioning employee, an HR professional and Employee Resource Group leader, and Vandy Beth Glenn. We were able to discuss concepts, what it takes to be an ally, and how to create a safe workplace climate for transitioning employees. The attendees developed a toolkit to take back to their workplace to start the needed changes for inclusion.
There was a lot of information presented, but more importantly the two sessions created a chance for a deeper understanding of the issues affecting transgender employees and best practices needed to make a difference. This “No Dumb Questions” Roadshow was an outstanding success, and if you are interested in scheduling it for your company or area, contact Nancy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks Atlanta, amazing job!