January 25, 2012

An Excerpt From My Book ~ A Creative-Non Fiction Portrait Essay ~ Diversity In Our World

Posted in Excerpts Of My Book: Cheatres Sinners and Saints tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 4:19 pm by greeneyezwinkin3@aol.com

Never sacrifice who you are just because someone has a problem with it. ~ anonymous

I speak from experience as I am a biological female who married and divorced a Transgender man. I want to share what I know now.

Falling in love with anyone is supposed to be the most beautiful experience in life. But, being a Transgender in today’s society can be complicated for them regarding their sacred journey. For those unique individuals they must consider certain factors that most of us take for granted in everyday life. Trust and safety issues are always on the fore front of their minds. For an FTM (female to male) or MTF (male to female), the risk is high of being rejected or finding themselves in a hostile situation, leading to a hate crime. One can even say that they put their lives on the line, daily. Who can one trust in coming out?

According to Riley, & Wong & Sitharthan (2011), “According to Carroll, Gilroy, and Ryan (2002), the extent of “gender privilege” a non-transgender person experiences in society is “alarming and ubiquitous” (p. 137), and rights for transgender individuals are most often limited…”

Unfortunately, so many Transsexual individuals feel they are in the closet and not able to share their inner most self with newly found friends or potential love interests. This is a frustrating and a rocky road as their body progressively matches their mind with the proper surgeries and hormones. The passage into their gender as they integrate themselves into society as their innate sex is not one that is taken lightly, but destined.

Furthermore, discrimination is prevalent regardless of where one lives and unfortunately, most states do not have laws implemented to protect the Transgender individual. In my eyes, they are the victims with no legal backing when it comes to divorce, child custody or even employment possibilities. It is common knowledge that in thirty eight states a Transgender could be fired solely based on a label, a way of life…the only life they knew.

Bottom line, a Transgender does not wake up one morning and say, “I think I’ll be a Transgender today.”

Think of it as someone deciding; today is the day, “I am going to be heterosexual.” Nor would anyone place themselves intentionally in society with this gender disorder based on such negative undertones associated with our communities. It is unfortunate that we live in a time when acceptance and tolerance are considered taboo. What is needed is a push beyond the comfort zone…personally speaking. With an open mind, the turmoil of societal and cultural dynamics will see the new boundaries that need to be intersected. The time has come to take off the blinders and see the world through a new lens of diversity, don’t you agree?

Reference

Riley, E. A. & Wong, W. K. T. & Sitharthan, G. (2011). Counseling Support for the Forgotten Transgender Community. Journal of Gay & Lesbian Social Services, 23. 395–410. Retrieved January 24, 2012, from http://www.peoplesmart.net.au/Riley%202011%20UoS%20Counseling%20support%20for%20the%20forgotten%20TG%20community%20Riley%202011.pdf

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January 23, 2012

We’re here. We’re Queer. Get used to it.

Posted in Speeches I have written tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 11:17 pm by greeneyezwinkin3@aol.com

I wrote this speech for Margaret Cho when I attended a speechwriting course in April 2011. In theory, MC asked me to write a speech for her capturing her voice. I hope I did! Thank you to all my resources.

Introduction for Margaret Cho

I don’t think I, Danelle could ever give a proper introduction for this woman. She is a beautiful, drop dead diva, comedian, actress, lover of humanity, I say that in the spiritual sense (Looks at Margaret) sweetie and political activist. I give you my old, old, old friend, M.C.

We are gathered here today to bless these two in holy mat, wait a second. What the *Bleep*. Hey, who wrote this *Bleep*? Sounds like I’m marrying a couple. Do you lesbian number one take lesbian number two to have and to hold, blah, blah, blah. Ok, sorry wrong speech. *Bleep*. I hope my dog didn’t eat (Shuffle papers, whispers) my *Bleep* speech again. Oh, wait! I Got it! Do over. Let’s try this one on for size shall we.

Good morning, What a great honor for me and thank you for joining us at the GLBT History Museum. On this bright and sunny morning we are here to dedicate the First GLBT History Museum’s Permanent exhibit of Queers in the United States on this day, April 17, 2011.

The GLBT History Museum’s presentation will incorporate a gallery specifically on the Queer population and its history. That’s right. We have history! The museum will feature two debut exhibitions. In the main gallery, you will find Our Vast Queer Past Celebrating San Francisco’s GLBT History. Curated by historians Gerard Koskovich, Don Romesburg and Amy Sueyoshi. In the front gallery, you’ll find great collections of the GLBT Historical Society’s Archive.

We are here to honor our community and the GLBT Historical Society’s 25th anniversary, the curators of Our Vast Queer Past who burrowed into every corner of the society’s extraordinary archives. We are here to show respect and acceptance as we dedicate this section of this museum as our very own. It is a commemorative event not only to Queers, (Point to audience) straights, lesbians, bisexuals, gays, transgenders and those questioning. It is for everyone. Did I forget anybody? Anywayyyy. For those who don’t know me, hello bitches. I’m Margaret Cho, nice to meet’cha.

I am the Korean American fag-hag, (Point to self) girl comic, trash talker and I am a biological female. In layman’s terms I was born a girl. I’ll let you in on a little secret, I am and always will be in love with men, women or whatever. It’s not what’s between a person legs that matters to me. That’s how I got the label queer. After having gay boyfriends for many years (Slow down) finally I have a straight husband, boyfriend and lover all in one. After having lesbian girlfriends and lovers thrown in the mix, I am Queer. I’m not a lesbian anymore. Which is a shame. Because I am soooo good at softball. (Pause)

Fran Lebowitz once said, “Girls who put out are tramps. Girls who don’t are ladies. This is, however, a rather archaic usage of the word. Should one of you boys happen upon a girl who doesn’t put out, do not jump to the conclusion that you have found a lady. What you have probably found is a Lesbian.” I am not the first avowed queer woman and I won’t be the last. I have always tried to make a difference promoting equal rights for all, regardless of sexual orientation or identity. This museum has joined me in the fight. Our struggles, pain and tears can be seen in the exhibition. It begins with a rainbow view of nearly a century of queer experiences in the San Francisco Bay Area. You will be consumed by multiple stories, sometimes interweaving, sometimes isolated, sometimes in battle. What will you find? (Pause) Motifs based on being human. The first is the search for companionship and pleasure. The second is the struggle for self-determination and respect in an often hostile society. The third is the value of individual and collective expression. And the fourth is the spirit, ingenuity and wit that have been keys to our survival. But, really why are we here? Society is slowly learning to be more diverse. Back in the day, you see I was a lesbian and very proud. I can remember the moments of being a lesbian.

First, I can recall the memories of a woman touching me, sensually. Second, the curves of a woman’s body, her scent, lips and eyes would always beckon me. Yes, I do understand the meaning of being a lesbian. And third, being with a woman was one of the most spiritual experiences that I had ever known. As I close my eyes, at this very moment, I can envision the women who were a part of my life. Not only emotionally but, physically, mentally and spiritually. I can tell you that each woman had their own inner essence. Each touched my heart. But, with time comes change and well, people change. I was a lesbian. And then bisexual and now presently considered a queer. I’ve have such a wealth of sexual experience. I’m always going to be queer. Why you ask? Because, I follow my heart. I married a bio man. (Speed up) I kinda wanted to get married and I looked at husbands like I looked at tattoos. Like I WANT one but I can’t decide on WHAT, and I don’t want to be STUCK with something that I am going to grow to hate. I have come to realize that there is a difference between genders. Straight men are so simple. All they need are beer and boobs and Buffalo wings.

Oh yeah, and straight men don’t want to go shopping, ever. Men, women, transpeople, bisexuals etc. are all people to be respected, just people, just different. Just as we each have our own hearts, minds and souls. Let’s talk about our dilemma that has to do with diversity in our world. Do you think our society is ready for the next gender identity? I know we are willing to try. To learn more about what queer really means. Queer in today’s society is considered similar to the features of the GLBT group. Yes and no but, no cigar. We are our own breed. Once again, society is slowly learning diversity. We as a society (Look around) need to open our minds to the unknown. To open our hearts. To open our acceptance level. We all want the same rights (Point up) and freedoms. Because we all know that once we face the unknown, it is not that scary anymore. I was partially raised by my parents, and partially grew up cradled within the gay community by a motley crew of gay men and drag queens.

I grew up in the 80s and 90s, and I worked a lot as an AIDS activist when I was very young. So it’s something I always knew I would do. It’s just inherent to who I am. My identity is rooted in my activism. Y’know, I’m queer, I’m a woman of color and I’m very progressive politically. I hope to one day leave my mark on this world, we call home. Today marks a day for learning. (Slow down) Learning from the past that will give us strength for our future battles. As we look at the past within these walls, it reminds us we still have far to go.

Presently, legislation is pending in both the House and Senate for our community. Gays and lesbians have been struck hard and need Congress to Repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, Respect for Marriage Act H.R. 3567 which denies legally married lesbian and gay couples more than 1,000 federal protections. These are basic protections such as access to Social Security benefits and the right to care for an ailing spouse under the Family and Medical Leave Act. With six states either providing or soon to provide marriage benefits to same-sex couples, it’s time for Congress to repeal DOMA. To treat all married couples equally.

D.O.M.A., which was signed into law by former President Bill Clinton in 1996 has two key components against the GLBT community. Section 2 stipulates that no state need recognize legal civil marriages between persons of the same sex. Even if the marriage was recognized in another state. Section 3 prohibits the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages for any purpose. Excluding these couples from all federal benefits and protections. Whether granted by statue, regulation or sub-regulatory decision. It effectively bars federal benefits from flowing to same-sex couples in state recognized unions. These are unequal and unfair laws. We all deserve the same rights don’t we? As the GLBT community struggles it also strengthens. As gay and lesbians are fighting for their rights, we as queer individuals fight for ours. Their fights are our fights. If you are a woman, if you are a person of color, if you are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, if you are a person of size, if you are person of intelligence, if you are a person of integrity, then you are considered a minority in this world. As we come together today as a united front, we will experience life as never before seen.

With all my heart, please join me with great pleasure in opening the doors. The doors of enlightenment for all the world to see. A queer world. My world. Our world. This exhibit reminds us all that just because you are blind, and unable to see my beauty doesn’t mean it does not exist. I want each of you to remember these words. Love is the big booming beat which covers up the noise of hate. Thank you all for making history with me. (Put hands together and bow).

January 19, 2012

Jeffrey Pfeffer ~ Leadership: Does it make a difference?

Posted in My Skills tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 1:24 pm by greeneyezwinkin3@aol.com

This paper is posted to reveal my writing skills.

Leadership makes a difference; it affects the level of organizational productivity and performance by making positive occurrences in the lives of organizational associates. Leaders create empowering organizational cultures that produce long-term thinking and successful outcomes through many different aspects such as employee turnover, decision making processes and the adaptability for a company to change. Whall (2006) states, “There are key leadership traits that make the difference in companies that can truly change their industries… Changing an industry is different than playing in an industry… All companies play in their industry, but few will literally change the course of their industry.”

The theory of leadership has been an accepted topic for many years by researchers due to the fact that its effectiveness is fundamental to businesses, followers, organizations and professional individuals. The popular press has produced thousands of books on this subject matter from a range of multifaceted definitions, terminology and meanings. These views range from the significance of situations, certain processes that takes place between leaders and followers, conceptual capabilities, foundational styles, personality characteristics/traits and technical humanistic skills.

Jeffery Pfeffer is a distinguished advocate, expert and theorist in the area of leadership. He is amongst many researchers that proclaim leadership does not make a significant difference with an organizations final performance. In 1977 he conducted a study involving the comparison of before and after results of the changing of two mayors in a city. It suggested organizational performance was more likely to be influenced by the environment rather than the leadership roles of individuals. The outcome portrayed very little change taking place within the organizational performance due to the shifting of mayors. This researcher questions the implied hypothesis regarding leadership, individual behaviors and disputes the conventional thought process pertaining to the meaning of this concept. Along with other poignant views, Pfeffer has strong beliefs pertaining to the perceptual/attributional perspective.  He has discussed his opinions on leadership behavior and how opening the door to the tools of symbolic leadership led to individuals being observed as a symbol. His concern of leadership is viewed as an essential influence that is brought on by lessening the casual uncertainty and guided by a cause and effect acknowledgement in relation to the leader. Pfeffer also believed that there was a link between strategic-contingency theory, leadership power, organizational changes and the critical issues that faced the organization.

In this position paper I will share my thoughts on why I believe leadership does make a difference. This is a topic that has prompted debates over the years and it is my theoretical point of view that there is a strong correlation and impact between leadership and the organizational performance levels. Through my research and investigation on this topic I have found that there are many ways in which to measure the importance of leadership which results in making a significant difference; not only business but in every day life.

Pfeffer’s proponents first, agree with the theory that leadership does not make a difference. To view leadership within an organization as a symbol it implies that these individuals play a significant role in the creating and implementing of the meaning and culture. According to Pondy (1978), “Thus, leadership has been called a “language game” because what leaders do is “manage meaning” (p.316). They are contextualists and believe that the meaning of leadership is derived purely from the context in which symbols are used.  Through symbolic leadership these theorists contend that the perceptual/attributional perspective of followers result in a leader being held responsible or recognized for the positive and negative outcomes within the organization.  It is thought that the strategic-contingency theory is applied to organizations and help cope with the significant organizational dilemmas by utilizing leadership power.

According to Hollander (1992), Pfeffer has strong beliefs pertaining to the attributional viewpoint which states, “…that leaders are credited or blamed for outcomes over which they alone had little effect. Because positive or negative outcomes are more likely to be attributed to the leader, he or she is more readily faulted and even removed as a symbol when things go wrong, rather than firing the whole staff or team” (in Pierce & Newstrom, 2006, p. 272). Therefore, it is the follower that looks for someone to point the finger at yet, does not see the entire organization in the same light. Pfeffer (1977) reported, “Thus leaders are important social constructions. They are symbols, hence targets for our attributions. They serve as scapegoats for our failures and heroes around which members of a group can rally in celebration of their collective accomplishments.” (in Pierce & Newstrom, 2006, p. 459). Smircich and Morgan (1982) agreed with the observation stating, “…the symbols, slogans, rituals, stories and myths are among the “tools of leadership” (in Pierce & Newstrom, 2006, p. 10). These are considered hurdles a leader faces in order to manage the meaning of leadership.

Mintzberg (1993) also contends that the perceptual/attributional perspective is associated with the attribution of causality of leaders becoming symbols, “The leader as a symbol provides a target for action when difficulties occur, serving as a scapegoat when things go wrong.” (in Pierce & Newstrom, 2006, p. 464).  Gamson and Scotch (1964) explained this concept by describing a situation involving the firing of a baseball manager, “noted that in baseball, the firing of the manager served a scapegoat purpose. One cannot fire the whole team, yet when performance is poor, something must be done” (in Pierce & Newstrom, 2006, p. 464). It is believed that these measures will enhance the organizational performance level.

The principle of leadership power regarding environmental conditions will automatically position constraints upon an organizational leader which in turn reduces the chances of affecting organizational performances. Lieberson and O’Connor’s studies appear to be results of their opinion since the outcome of organizations performance portrays as being controlled by the environmental factors more so then by a leader’s position. This argument explains that individuals have the potential of being biased concerning the over attributing to a facilitators model of power.

Smircich and Morgan (1982) defined the meaning of leadership as, “…a product of an interaction between the situation, the leader, and the followers.”  (in Pierce & Newstrom, 2006, p. 189). This coincides with Pfeffer’s opinion of the strategic contingency model of leadership stating that, “…the leader is a person who brings scarce resources to assist a group of individuals in overcoming a critical problem that they face. As the problems facing a group change, their leader may also change because of his or her access to critical and scarce resources.” (in Pierce & Newstrom, 2006, p. 189). Therefore, this concept reinforces the significance of the situation, environment and the leadership process.

Pfeffer (1977) discussed a study of organizational performance levels of city governments concluding that, “changes from mayor to mayor were minor and unlikely to bring about major organizational changes” (in Pierce & Newstrom, 2006, p. 458).

This evidence was based on, “…studies estimating the effect of administrators have found them to account for about 10 percent of variance in organizational performance…is a striking contrast to the 90 percent of intellectual effort that has been devoted to developing theories of individual action…leadership, it seems, doesn’t make a difference.

The evidence I will give appears to refute this theory. The analytical approach of this study was to feature inconsistencies in the performance measures regarding the independent elements likely to change by the means of a chronological breakdown of discrepancies. This was to depict a set of figures representing the performance variances. Thomas (1988) expressed this study of mayoral effects concludes, “that leadership differences have little or no impact on organizational performance… both Lieberson and O’Connor and Salancik and Pfeffer’s studies are seen as flawed because they do not allow the leadership variable to enter earlier into the equation” (p. 389) Proving the statement of Pfeffer’s theory –  false.

Peters and Austin (1985) disagree with the theory Pfeffer offers and it is their contention that leadership is a significant aspect regarding the process connected with the advancement and preservation stage for a company’s performance. Other scholars hold similar views such as House (1988), Day and Lord (1988) reveal evidence from their studies concluding important results connecting organizational performance and leadership. House (1988) mentions, “…that there is an abundance of evidence demonstrating significant leadership effects in the areas of: level of effort expended, adaptability to change, performance under change conditions, level of group turnover, absenteeism, group member performance, decision  acceptance, quality of decisions made, and the amount of follower learning  from leadership training efforts.” (in Pierce & Newstrom, 2006, p. 458).

Leadership is the most important aspect at any level…in any profession. The theory of leadership makes a difference because in every relationship someone is leading, someone is following, and everyone is learning the respective difference and importance. In my opinion, organizational performance is shaped by internal as well as external conditions such as technological factors, economy and the industry market place. McKnight expressed his opinion by stating, “Training and technology are important, but leadership makes the difference.” Rodgers and Hunter (1991) observe, “The effects of executive leadership may be direct in their impact upon both the external and internal environments of the organization” (in Pierce & Newstrom, 2006, p. 460). This combination of internal and external occurrences is crucial for increasing of performance as Dessler (1993) comments, “In the current environment, where flattened organizations and empowered employees are needed for enhanced performance, follower commitment is simply a business imperative” (p.89).

Leadership and organizational performance go hand in hand. An organization can not change the belief system, culture or make proper long term decisions without the capability of a strong facilitator in a top level role. Flexibility and the ability to change can make or break a company. A leader guides the organization with well thought out plans. As Snair (2004) stated, “If a route is not going well, smart decision-making comes into play as the cadet decides whether or not to continue looking or move on to the next marker or to rethink the routine entirely.”

Our society and the world in which we live incorporate leaders which are obsessed with control whether it be in observing or evaluating situations in their environment. Kelley (1971) has explained that, “…a series of studies dealing with the attributional process, he concluded that persons were not only interested in understanding their world correctly, but also in controlling it.” (in Pierce & Newstrom, 2006, p. 272).

Social constructionists maintain that the follower’s comprehension regarding leadership control is conveyed by their perception of it being socially provided information. Calder (1977) Meindl, Ehrllich, Dukerich (1985) and Meindl (1990) expresses the concept as being heroic view, “as observers of and as participants in organizations, we may have developed highly romanticized, heroic views of leadership”. These heroic views paint unrealistic pictures about what leaders do, what they are able to accomplish, and the general effects they have on our lives” (in Pierce & Newstrom, 2006, p. 457). Gergen (1998) agrees this philosophy by expressing this comment, “Whether we as scientists with to sustain a view of people as seekers of control is optional; there is nothing about human action itself that demands such an interpretation…In these ways the point of social constructionism is not to work on the world as an object, but to work within our culture as mutual subjects” (p. 101).

In my opinion, my earlier interpretation of the Yin-Yang metaphor applies to the theory of leadership and company performance. Without leadership…we can not have successful organizational performance levels T. Wolfe (2007, October 9) is quoted by stating, “When I think of management and leadership I equate it with the yin-yang symbol. I believe that each contains the seed of the other as the dots in each of them represent this overlapping of the two. I believe they are independent, yet supportive of each other in numerous ways.” Therefore, Leadership does matter!!!!  Day and Lord (1988) declared, “We believe, however, that proper interpretation of existing succession studies indicates that top-level leaders have a direct and significant effect on their company’s performance.” (in Pierce & Newstrom, 2006, p. 468).

In conclusion, many theorists are in agreement that leadership does matter. George (2007) commented that, “If they want to succeed in the 21st century, corporations would be well-advised to develop authentic leaders like these, who can build and sustain their long-term success.” There is a strong connection between organizational performance and leadership …all one has to do is review the literature.

The test of a leader lies in the reaction and response of his followers. His worth as a leader is measured by the achievements of the led…the ultimate test of his effectiveness. ~ Gen. Omar N. Bradley

References

George, B. (October 4, 2007). Where Have   All the Leaders Gone? Part II. [electronic             version] Businessweek. Found November 30, 2007 at:             http://www.businessweek.com/managing/content/oct2007/ca2007104_688678.ht m?chan=search

Gergen, K.J. (1998). From control to coconstruction: New narratives for the social             sciences. Psychological Inquiry 9(2) 101. Retrieved December 8, 2007, from             http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=1047- 840X%281998%299%3A2%3C101%3AFCTCNN%3E2.0.CO%3B2-T

Humphreys, J. H. & Weyant, L. E. & Sprague, R. D. (2003). Organizational             commitment: The roles of emotional and practical intellect within the             leader/follower dyad.Journal of Business and Management. 9(2) 189. Retrieved             December 9, 2007, from http://proquest.umi.com.library.esc.edu/pqdweb?index=25&sid=1&srchmode=1&vinst=PROD&fmt=3&startpage=-            1&clientid=63430&vname=PQD&RQT=309&did=000000423243801&scaling=            FULL&vtype=PQD&rqt=309&TS=1198046871&clientId=63430

Pierce, J. & Newstrom, J. (2006). Leaders and the leadership process: Readings, self-            assessments & applications. 4th ed.,Boston: McGraw Hill.

Snair, S. (2004).West Pointleadership lessons: Duty, honor, and other management             principles.Naperville,IL: Sourcebooks, Inc.

Thomas, A. B. (1988 September). Does Leadership make a difference to  organizational performance?. Administrative Science Quarterly. 33 (1988) 388-400. Retrieved December 9, 2007, from http://www.jstor.org.library.esc.edu/view/00018392/di995502/99p0466n/0?search  Url=http%3a//www.jstor.org/search/BasicResults%3fhp%3d25%26si%3d1%26g            w%3djtx%26jtxsi%3d1%26jcpsi%3d1%26artsi%3d1%26Query%3dDoes%2bLeadership%2bMake%2ba%2bDifference%2bto%2bOrganizational%2bPerformance%26wc%3don&frame=noframe&currentResult=00018392%2bdi995502%2b99p0466n%2b0%2cFF3F&userID=8a7464f5@esc.edu/01c0a8487410d52116f021a307&dpi=3&config=jstor

Vickrey, J. (1991). Symbolic Leadership: The Symbolic Nature of Leadership. Retrieved December 8, 2007, fromhttp://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/au- 24/vickrey.pdf

Whall, T. (2006). Leadership makes a difference. 36(2) 120. Retrieved December 7, 2007, from http://proquest.umi.com.library.esc.edu/pqdweb?index=15&did=989413231&Src            hMode=1&sid=4&Fmt=4&VInst=PROD&VType=PQD&RQT=309&VName=P            QD&TS=1198047184&clientId=63430

Yakel, J. P. (2003). Leadership makes a difference. Retrieved December 9, 2007 from,              http://www.penfed.org/usawoa/downloads/LeadershipColMcKnightByCW2Yakel.pdf

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