Showing posts with label volunteerism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label volunteerism. Show all posts

Monday, July 3, 2023

Invited Diversity

Image from Danie Franco
on UnSplash

Recently I posted concerning my upcoming invitation to become apart of the Greater Cincinnati Alzheimer's Association as some sort of a LGBTQ volunteer. 

More precisely I wanted to become an advocate for anyone facing the terror of Alzheimer's or Dementia memory loss during their life. Much of my passion for advocating comes from my own Dad passing from a very sad and ugly case of Dementia years ago. I figured if I somehow could help one person cope in the future, my effort would be worth it.

As I suspected, since volunteers are becoming rarer and rarer to come by these days, I was received with open arms. In fact, the person I "interviewed" with said I was a "needle in a haystack". Meaning it was becoming so difficult to locate anyone willing to give anytime at all to give time to the Alzheimer's Association. The Association does have a diversity committee but it is down to only three members with one wanting to leave. Plus, there are no transgender or LGBTQ members on the committee. Regardless of my expertise I am rare and thus the proverbial needle in the haystack.

What I was very much pleased to learn was the Alzheimer's Association already has an outreach program for LGBTQ patients. However what we transgender women and trans men know, much of the outreach doesn't extend to the transgender community. As I pointed out to the woman who interviewed me, the biggest thing I was paranoid about is if or when I need assisted living care, my gender is effectively taken away from me. That was the point when the person I was talking to told me the association provides extra assistance. Not that I doubt that but I again would feel blessed if I can provide an example to an accepting transgender family struggling with the tragedy of memory loss.

My starting point will be an initial diversity committee meeting coming up later in July. It will be interesting to see how I am accepted by the remainder of the super small committee whose diversity consists of race or national backgrounds. So I will be the first LGBTQ member and even more important the first transgender member. 

So far, the process went fairly smooth with the interviewer. She only mis gendered me once after immediately asking for my preferred pronouns. Of course she quickly profusely apologized but the damage was already done. 

We went on, and I will go onto the committee to learn in my small way if I can make a difference with a huge tragic problem.        

A Vocal Trans Girl

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