Archive for May 2017

My LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) Pride Month 2017 Blog 1 of 2! Actually Nine!

In June 2016, President Obama declared the Stonewall Inn, where the late June 1969 riot against police brutality of LGBT people took place, the USA’s first LGBT National Historic Monument. (Photo from CNN)

This year, I will kick off LGBT pride month by providing short summaries and links to nine blogs I wrote since last year’s Pride that have LGBT diversity content. LGBT Pride should be every month, all year!

And be watching for my 2017 LGBT Pride Month Blog 2 later in June when I will be reviewing a new book written by a leading LGBT consultant and writer being released within the next week or two!

1) June, 2016 – On the last day of LGBT Pride Month 2016, I published a blog about the great privilege of being able to attend the US Department of Labor’s LGBT Pride Month event with US Labor Secretary Thomas Perez and US Senator Tammy Baldwin in Washington DC on June 28th!

2) September, 2016 – I published my third blog in a 3-part series of Muslim diversity in the US – “The Intersection of Islam and LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender.)” It includes lots of interesting links.

3) September, 2016 – “The Nightmare Continues – Five Impacts of North Carolina’s Infamous HB2.” As a diversity consultant working with many businesses and organizations across North Carolina, I share two broad economic / business impacts and three individual / personal focused impacts of this horrible state law. (since partially repealed)

4) October, 2016 – I was very pleased that our annual North Carolina Society of HR Management Conference scheduled young, dynamic transgender author and activist Janet Mock as this year’s kickoff keynote speaker. Such an important topic in today’s corporate world – “A superb transgender awareness keynote from Janet Mock.”

5) November, 2016 – I published a Transgender Day of Remembrance Guest Blog, a reflection on the Transgender Day of Remembrance, written by my new staff member transgender activist and speaker Elaine Martin. This very somber and thoughtful piece reflects on a segment of our population who disproportionately lose their lives to violence.

6) January, 2017 – “Yes! Virginia is for all lovers (and all employees and businesses)” is about Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe’s first executive order as a new governor promoting LGBT equality.

The São Paulo, Brazil LGBT Pride Parade is now perhaps the largest in the entire world. (Photo from Wikipedia)

7) January, 2017 – In this time when many people in industry consider millennials as entitled, spoiled and unwilling to work hard, I published this interview with an outstanding millennial community leader. Out and proud gay man Jackson Cooper is believed to be the youngest executive director in the country leading a performing arts organization in the US.

8) February, 2017 – In my latest blog about North Carolina’s infamous anti-LGBT HB2 law, I share two recent business perspectives: from a season senior executive and from a recent college graduate.

9) April, 2017 – On April 6th, I attended a breakfast meeting of business leaders with the new North Carolina Governor as the speaker. In “Power Breakfast with North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper – Part 1 of 2” I summarize the general comments of Governor Cooper around diversity, education, health, economic development, and more. And in “Power Breakfast with North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper – Part 2 of 2” I provide the details of Governor Cooper’s comments about HB2, diversity, and support for LGBT citizens.

I wish all my readers a Happy LGBT Pride Month and hope you find these blogs useful and perhaps even inspirational.

“Getting Up” from Considering and Attempting Suicide

10 years after attempting suicide, Lacie Childers is a newly pinned Registered Nurse and the happy mother of active 4-year-old Ian.

I thank Betsy Rhodes, the North Carolina Area Director for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (link) for suggesting this topic and providing Lacie’s story.

I continue my monthly blog series based on US Figure Skating’s popular “Get Up” campaign which shares the message that life, like the ice, is hard, and we can certainly fall on it. But the more times we get up and persevere, the stronger we become. Since May is Mental Health Awareness Month, my May installment focuses on the very serious issue of suicide.

There is such a stigma around suicide; that somehow people who contemplate ending their lives are seriously beyond repair and that this is something to be very deeply ashamed about and not discussed. However, continuing on the theme of “Getting Up;” with the appropriate assistance and resources, those who consider or attempt suicide can “Get Up” from this low to move on to healthy, productive, fulfilling lives.

Let me share one story from 25-year-old Lacie Childers from Forest City, NC. Lacie had struggled with mood disorder with frequent chronic thoughts of suicide since puberty. Then at the age of 15, things came to head in one day: someone made fun of her from having a speech impediment, she heard that her boyfriend was seeing someone else, and she failed a test. Fortunately, her suicide attempt that day was not successful.

It would have been be very easy for Lacie to just give up on life and continue falling into despair, but instead she “got up” from her situation to move ahead into a promising future. She recently graduated from nursing school and is a newly pinned RN, is the mother of a very active 4-year-old and is the Walk Chair for the Rutherford County “Out of Darkness” Walk.

Here are several helpful points that Lacie shares with others who may be having these same struggles:

• Lacie realizes that having a support team and a safety plan are her most critical tools. Her support team is aware of her stressors and triggers, and when they may be needed to help Lacie take precautions to keep her safe.

• That self-care is very important in “getting up” and that includes complying with medication and therapy regimens.

• That people do indeed have options when it comes to their care and that they can be their own strong advocates. For example, if you do not like your doctor or therapist, you can find a different one. Or you can reach out to a peer support specialist if you don’t feel you are getting the assistance you need.

• Having this mental illness in no way means that Lacie is inferior or incompetent, or that she cannot have an exciting fruitful career and life ahead. In fact, her own experience may even better prepare Lacie to provide the best nursing care for her future patients.

Thank you, Lacie, for “Getting Up” and sharing this inspiration!

And I would like to close this blog with four actions that my own church denomination (Metropolitan Community Churches) encourages during Mental Health Awareness Month:
1. Learn more about the facts of mental ill health and related issues.
2. Challenge our own and other’s negative attitudes and stigma.
3. Talk and reduce isolation.
4. Become more aware of local sources of help and support.

# # # #

Link to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention for more info and resources.

Link to my skating blog page which contains links to my first four “get up” blogs.

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