Making Corporate America a Safer Space with Stephanie Battaglino

It was a real honor and privilege to lend my voice and perspectives on creating more diverse and welcoming workplaces to the #SpeakUpForEquity podcast with my friend and colleague in the DEIB movement, Robert Lawrence Wilson in conjunction with the Tennessee Diversity Consortium!

With respect to #transgender and #nonbinary #workplace #inclusion, if we just allow ourselves to lean into our #vulnerability and let our actions be led by our own personal sense of #grace and #integrity a more vibrant and evolved #culture awaits where the contributions of all make for a stronger, more #agile collective.

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Trans Rights Are Women’s Rights

Somehow in the blur that was the month of March, I completely missed this WONDERFUL, thought-provoking piece from the ACLU‘s #WomensRightsProject director Ria Tabacco Mar.

I speak often about how the warm embrace of my #cisgender female colleagues greatly aided me after I came out in my workplace, and how, as I continued to live into my authentic self at work, I found myself living at the intersection of gender equity and gender inequality. Reading this piece made me realize how much transwomen share the same space in the battle that is the women’s rights movement. As Ria so aptly points out, “Not only is there no conflict between demanding rights for women and for all transgender people, advances in #trans #rights hold a specific promise for women’s liberation. . . Defending trans people is not only a moral duty for the #feminist #movement; it is central to it.” Thank you for standing in #solidarity with my #community, my sister!

Trans Rights Are Women’s Rights

One Human Family

As we move from Black History Month #blackhistorymonth and into Women’s History Month, #womenshistorymonth, the beautiful and poignant words of Maya Angelou #mayaangelou give me hope at a time when there is so much hate and bigotry directed at the transgender community. If only those that seek to legislate us out of existence would stop the nonsense and embrace the indisputable fact that we are . . . One Human Family . . . .

“I note the obvious differences
In the human family.
Some of us are serious,
Some thrive on comedy.

Some declare their lives are lived
As true profundity,
And others claim they really live
The real reality.

The variety of our skin tones
Can confuse, bemuse, delight,
Brown and pink and beige and purple,
Tan and blue and white.

I’ve sailed upon the seven seas
And stopped in every land,
I’ve seen the wonders of the world
Not yet one common man.

I know ten thousand women
Called Jane and Mary Jane,
But I’ve not seen any two
Who really were the same.

Mirror twins are different
Although their features jibe,
And lovers think quite different thoughts
While lying side by side.

We love and lose in China,
We weep on England’s moors,
And laugh and moan in Guinea,
And thrive on Spanish shores.

We seek success in Finland,
Are born and die in Maine.
In minor ways we differ,
In major we’re the same.

I note the obvious differences
Between each sort and type,
But we are more alike, my friends,
Than we are unalike.

We are more alike, my friends,
Than we are unalike.

We are more alike, my friends,
Than we are unalike.

Songwriters: Maya Angelou / Shawn Rivera

New Year’s Reflection

As the calendar flips from December to January and another new year begins, I find myself – like I am sure many of you are – in a very reflective place. Personally speaking, 2022 was quite a year of travel for my wife Mari and I. We traveled to places we had always hoped to visit – but were postponed from going to due to the pandemic. Spain, Greece, Italy, and Croatia each had their own unique sense of place and moments of awe-inspiring magic.

As we explored each place, we never shied away from being visible and being our authentic selves. As two transwomen we have a firm grasp of who we are and as we interacted with locals and travelers of all types we always know, that in one way or another, outreach comes along for the ride. We do not shy away from it, but rather embrace it wholeheartedly. I have long believed that you get back only what you put out into the world, and when you lead with authenticity and positivity that is what the universe gives back to you in return. And that is precisely what happened throughout our time in Europe and on our transatlantic cruise ship crossing back home. It helped to create a sense of community with our fellow cruisers – many of whom happened to be Bears! My hope is that by spending some time with us they felt the same sense of connectedness in our shared humanity that we did.

It was also a year where I was able to help several firms further their inclusion initiatives through my training programs and consulting work and by being given the opportunity to tell the story of my journey to my authentic self to their employees. It demonstrated for me, once again, that our stories possess incredible power to change hearts, minds, and souls.

And speaking of changing hearts and minds, I am ever grateful that my book has continued to reach more individuals than I could ever imagine. It warms my heart to know that many have benefited from its tales of strength, perseverance, and hope. It was never my intent to publish a New York Times bestseller (although that would have been nice!). But rather, it was always about being able to help those that were searching for guidance and support for their own life journeys in whatever measure they needed.

The vagaries of the publishing business being what they are, I find myself at the start of this year in search of a new publisher so that I can ensure my book remains in print and continues to help those that can benefit from it most: transgender and gender diverse individuals of all stripes as well as those managers of people, DEI professionals, and the like. I believe it can continue to touch the lives of many if given the proper platform. In addition, I have much more to share about what I have learned with respect to the roles privilege and vulnerability play in the evolution of cultures in organizations of all sizes and I seek a forum on which to do that.

So, I humbly ask that if any of you reading this can assist me in that endeavor by introducing me to individuals in your network who are in the publishing industry I would be beyond grateful.

Finally, along with reflection comes discernment, and I have discerned plenty in 2022. I have purposely and intentionally devoted a good deal of time to understanding how my voice can continue to contribute to the future of the transgender/gender-diverse inclusion movement. The new year marks my 19th year of doing what I do, and I have arrived at a place where whatever work I take on it is because I want to, rather than because I need to. And that is no small realization for me as I have often struggled with what comes next – and what does that look like.

To be sure, there are plenty of younger voices in today’s movement who bring a much different point of view to the table. I have seriously considered the possibility that perhaps it is time for me to step aside and let them carry us into the future. But if I am honest with myself, I am not quite ready to do that. There is far too much hate, falsehoods, and misinformation being heaped upon my community, and God only knows what waits for us in the new year given the dynamic political landscape in this country. The only way we combat that and shape the narrative to an honest and true place is by using a multitude of voices collectively speaking truth to power. And that is a collective that I have always been proud to lend my voice to, in whatever manner feels right for me.

Be kind to each other and I wish each of you a Happy, Healthy, and Peaceful 2023.

LinkedIn Top LGBTQIA+ Voices: The 10 creators to follow in the U.S. and Canada

Beyond honored to be on the #linkedintopvoices list with such wonderfully important voices for the LGBTQ+ community. Especially, my friends and colleagues in the movement, Celia Sandhya Daniels and Fabrice C Houdart. Collectively, all of you make such a profound difference in the lives of so many and I am grateful to be in your company. Let’s go change the world together!

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