What I’m Reading – Aug 2020

This article is cross-posted from the ZS intranet (which we call ZSpace), where I write episodically about issues of interest to the LGBTQ+ community and our allies. It’s been lightly edited for an external audience.

If you haven’t already, have a look at our Pride@ZS page on the refreshed ZS.com.  It’s still a work in progress – we’ll be adding more content, better tagging, etc.  But still it’s looking good – and a great way to share what we’re doing with clients who may be interested in our Inclusion & Diversity efforts.

If you have not been following the social media storm surrounding J.K. Rowling’s anti-trans commentary, this would be a good time to get up to speed.  Although the controversy started in December last year, every time she’s spoken on the topic, it’s generated a ton of confusion and frustration.  For the most part, the LGBTQ community is calling her latest writing a ‘transphobic manifesto’, which she referenced in a simple tweet saying ‘TERF Wars’.  TERF stands for trans-exclusionary radical feminist; you can learn more about the term TERF here,if you are interested.

And the response from GLAAD:

One of the things that’s been really moving for me in the past few weeks is watching the tributes to Representative John Lewis.  He was an incredible advocate for civil rights – including those of the LGBTQ community.  Here are a couple of short pieces that caught my attention. 

The motorcade for his funeral procession stopped in the rainbow crosswalks in Atlanta.  Lewis lobbied for the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) in the 1990s, and supported same sex marriage in the early oughts:

We cannot keep turning our backs on gay and lesbian Americans. I have fought too hard and too long against discrimination based on race and color not to stand up against discrimination based on sexual orientation. I’ve heard the reasons for opposing civil marriage for same-sex couples. Cut through the distractions, and they stink of the same fear, hatred, and intolerance I have known in racism and in bigotry.

Here is a video from the Human Rights Campaign (their Instagram account) that features him talking about making #goodtrouble for the LGBTQ community at the HRC’s National Dinner in 2016.  The full speech (15 minutes) is also available on YouTube.  At ZS, let’s continue our commitment to support  The Black and Hispanic Alliance (BHA) colleagues the way Representative John Lewis supported the LGBTQ community.  

Out & Equal released an interview with two colleagues who joined the others’ ERGs (our equivalent of Pride@ZS and The Black and Hispanic Alliance (BHA)) to respect and support one another.  It’s short but a really nice tribute to the importance of allies:

I mean people that are different in any way shape or form… you just have a bond with people that are different and to be honest, Corporate America is really a lot of straight white people. People that are different stick together and have a bond.

You can read the full piece here.

Some of you may recall that last year I wrote a blog post called Deadnaming, which featured a Starbucks add that showed a transgender person receiving a coffee with their affirmed name written on the cup. Today I read that MasterCard has also released an ad about their True Name card.  If this is new territory for you, it might be worth a watch – it’s simple but it makes the point well.  

That’s it for now.  I hope you found this helpful, educational … maybe even inspiring?  I’d welcome your thoughts in the comments. 

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