Archive for December 2016
In 2016, six of my seven most read blogs dealt with some sort of diversity topic, while one featured a young teen who demonstrated what determination and leadership is really about.
Here are the “Top 7 of 2016” in reverse order:
7. The seventh most read blog, “North Carolina’s HB2 – don’t boycott us, Cyndi Lauper-ize us!” was published in June as a result of multiple boycotts because of North Carolina’s repressive anti-LGBT HB2 legislation. Though I respect performers’ decisions to boycott NC over HB2, what Cyndi Lauper did was so much more profound and impactful.
6. From March, “Why do we all need someone to hate on? … and now in North Carolina, it’s transgender people.” After so much had been written locally and nationally about the “anti-LGBT / transgender restroom” bill HB2 that had just passed in North Carolina, I decided to blog about the larger systemic societal and political issue that led to this, the fact that it seem society always needs some group to demonize.
5. My fifth most popular blog featured a young teen with great determination. In “Lessons from a Young Teen,” I ask how my readers would you handle going from second place to second from the bottom in one year in a sports competition. This inspirational short piece shares how a young figure skating athlete handled this challenge.
3. In “Diversity and Straight White Men – Four Key Thoughts,”I address the issue that, so often, straight white men may feel left out, marginalized or even “the problem” within diversity and inclusion discussions. I offer four constructive points for discussion and consideration in this blog.
2. My second most read blog of the year was a personal labor of love which included several personal photos that I took, “Seven Fabulous Out Gay Men of Figure Skating.”
1. And finally, the top most read blog for the third year in a row was actually published way back in 2011! As many people search for online resources about diversity training, they found and read my 2011 blog “Three Components of Diversity Training,” where I discuss three major components required for diversity training and exactly who within an enterprise should be trained. I have also updated that blog to include links to more resources including to a blog sharing a sample outline of diversity and inclusion training contents.
Thanks to all the readers who enjoy and share my blogs. In 2017, if you want to be notified each time I do publish, you can like my business facebook page (Link), or if you subscribe to my monthly e-newsletter, I include a short summary and links to the past month’s writings.
Wishing all my readers a wonderful 2017 filled with much contentment and success!
STAN: Alex, can you give me a brief description of what Cerebral Palsy Guidance is about?
ALEX: Cerebral Palsy Guidance (CPG) is a website that provides information about cerebral palsy (CP), a disability that affects approximately 764,000 children and the adults in the U.S. alone. CPG was created primarily as a resource for parents of children with CP to give them information about the disability, what treatments are available, what kinds of medical and legal assistance exist, and to dispel some of the myths that surround CP. That having been said, though, we also want to reach the general public and increase awareness about cerebral palsy, which is the most common movement disorder that affects kids.
STAN: Wow, 764,000 people affected is a huge number! Alex, Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and how you got involved in this work?
ALEX: Well, I’m a Miami-based freelance writer, online reviewer, and aspiring novelist – and I happen to have cerebral palsy. I was a preemie, and I acquired CP shortly after birth when a nurse placed me in an incubator – and took a bit too long to turn on the oxygen supply. It was only a momentary lapse, but thus, there was some damage in the motor control region of my brain. Luckily, I fell in love with the written word as a young boy, and I decided that I’d be a writer when I was 14.
As to how I got involved with CPG: I was asked to write a blog for the site in January of 2016. I was writing movie and book reviews for the now-closed Examiner.com at the time, plus I was gearing up to start writing my first novel. But CPG’s chief writer, Leigh Egan, emailed me not long after the New Year and asked me if I would like to be a regular blogger and share with readers what it’s like to live with CP. I’m not a researcher or a legal expert, mind you, but I do know about the challenges of daily existence as a disabled person in 21st Century America. So, I said “yes,” and here we are.
STAN: Alex, could you tell me more about the intersectionality of Cerebral Palsy with being LGB or T? Why is this important to discuss?
ALEX: I’m not LGB or T, but some of my friends are, so I am aware of the challenges they face today. I can identify with the LGBT community’s struggles to gain acceptance in a society where some people still believe that sexual orientation is an anomalous “lifestyle” or “choice” rather than an innate trait. People with CP, whether they’re gay or straight, are still sometimes looked upon as freaks or “damaged” individuals who should be shunned. Disabled people, of course, aren’t vilified or – as in the Pulse shooting in Orlando – targeted by zealots as LGB and T people are, but we still face discrimination and mockery. Look at that disabled New York Times reporter that President-elect Donald Trump made fun of during the campaign. Trump scornfully mimicked his physical disability because he didn’t like the man’s reporting or his probing questions! So for me, the intersectionality of individuals with CP and the LGBT community isn’t about sexual orientation. It’s about human rights.
STAN: What can allies do to educate themselves about the Cerebral Palsy / LGBT intersection and what actions can they take?
ALEX: I think that dialogue and participative interaction is the best way for people to understand each other. I’m not sure that disabled people in general have a negative worldview about the LGBT community – some people with CP are LGB or T, too. Maybe a small percentage of individuals with CP may have some prejudices about gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender persons, mostly because of their religious upbringing, but others, especially millennials, are more accepting. But by and large I think both groups (disabled and LGBT) get along well.
STAN: How can people learn more?
ALEX: If anyone wants more information about cerebral palsy, its causes, treatments, and what resources are available, there is Cerebral Palsy Guidance. CPG is one of the best sites on the Web, with well-written and researched articles by a dedicated staff. You can find it at https://www.cerebralpalsyguidance.com/
STAN: Thank you for the insights, Alex. Keep up your great work and I look forward to staying in touch and seeing your first novel.
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NOTE: FYI – here is a link to Alex’s LinkedIn Profile to learn more about him.