Hope, Heart, and the Human Spirit

with Ben Greene

Hummingbird Humanity Videos now with Captioning

In this episode, Brian and Ben cover. . .

  • Coming out as trans in educational and professional settings

  • Gender-inclusive language in workplace policies

  • The power of representation

  • How to show up for trans colleagues

 

Leaning Into Humanity

Where do I start when it seems like there is so much to learn?

I do not feel as if I know enough about different lived experiences in the workplace. I want to help my colleagues who are from underrepresented and marginalized backgrounds. Where do I start when it seems like there is so much to learn?

 

You are correct, there is a ton of content to know about identity. It would be ludicrous for any one person to say they’re knowledgeable on every lived experience. That’s why it is important to make sure there is a strong representation of different communities in the workplace. Every person is an expert on whatever they’re most passionate about, and everyone can collectively share their skills within a team . The best thing to do is to invite others to the table.

Leaning Into Humanity

Consider making company parental policies gender-inclusive.

Ben encourages companies to consider making their parental policies more gender-inclusive and using the word “people” to identify parents as opposed to mothers, fathers, men, & women. Reasons for this are:

 

  • Pregnancy is not limited to cisgender women, trans men and non-binary people can also become pregnant. 

  • There are many other forms of family planning that are utilized, especially by LGBTQ parents, such as surrogacy and adoption. 

  • And oftentimes, becoming a foster parent is excluded from company policies.

Leaning Into Humanity

How can I explain trans identity to my colleagues? I get it, but I have no idea how to articulate it.

Ben would say:

 

Gender identity is like sitting in a chair. When people are born, they are born into a type of chair that represents their sex. And if you are comfortable in your chair, you don’t feel it (Cisgender). Most people don’t consciously think about their chairs, unless you are uncomfortable in your chair, in which case you’re really aware of it. 

 

The feeling of being comfortable in your chair is your gender identity. So if you are uncomfortable in your chair, you can get up and move to a different, more comfortable chair (Transgender). 

 

Some people do not want to sit in the same chair every day or sit in a chair that is a hybrid of several different chairs, or make a new chair, and some people don’t like any chair and would prefer to just stand up (non-binary identities). 


There is an infinite amount of different chairs and no one’s chair impacts anyone else’s chair. If you feel that you need more guidance on this conversation, make sure to book an “out to lunch” chat with Ben and/or invite him to speak to your community.

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Since coming out as a trans man in High School, Ben Greene chooses daily to take on the mantle of guiding strangers with their coming out journeys and educating the public on queer identities. Ben’s principle is to always do his part to maximize his good. Ben does more than break down complex concepts through familiar everyday anecdotes. He challenges others to transform their thinking to view gender identity as what it is- flexible, simple, and normal. This approach has taken Ben’s talents to be tapped by Inspire HR, Ph. Creative, HR Learning Center, DisruptHR NYC, Tedx, Diversity Live!, and recently, the Hummingbird Humanity family. For anyone trying to find the right answers about gender and trans identity, they can schedule one of Ben’s 1-on-1 virtual conversations  “out to lunch”, available every afternoon.

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