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The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
Poetry Fishbowl Report for July 5, 2016
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ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 2nd, 2016 06:46 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Nonbinary person waves "hi"

>> Studying might be interesting, but I sense a long and tricky path between that and actually being able to do something with it. <<

Nah. Think of these as toolboxes. You don't have to spend $$$$ on a whole kit all at once. You can buy just a ruler when you need one for $. You can figure out which wrench set you want for $$. Build up slowly and use what you have.

Mediation is a bunch of skills for solving problems and helping people get along. You can use many of the same techniques to get coworkers collaborating on a project or convince people to help you with your transition. Facilitation takes more learning and requires a group of people to guide, but again, you can start small and build up. Also, both of these can be practiced online. People are always getting into arguments. Doesn't happen often in my space because I'm careful about maintenance, but other places, sure. If someone starts a flamewar when I'm in bed, my audience has usually put it out by the time I get up. Another opportunity lies in hobby and volunteer activities, where it's often much easier to do things just by offering, compared to work where you usually need permission.

Skills Mediators Need
How to Mediate Conflict

The Role of a Facilitator
How to Facilitate a Meeting

One of my go-to resources for group management:
Panel Moderator's Guide and Tip Sheet

>> Along with the usual hazards of getting all sides involved to accept the recommendations of a non-stakeholder rather than continuing the moat-building and infighting,<<

Just wait for them to wear themselves out. Before then, they usually aren't ready. Once they're sick and tired of their fight, they're a lot more open to outside input.

>> I would need to be completely out in order to successfully employ the people skills required (my acquisition of which has been stunted; gender conflict is definitely part of the reason), and be accepted in my gender identity as a knowledgeable and valid voice.<<

Why? Start where you are. You have a life. Presumably there are people in it. People do not always get along, which makes mediation skills handy; and they often team up for projects, which makes facilitation useful. Interact with them however they already know you. Or you could find some new people somewhere. Suppose you decide to join a genderchat or other group, that becomes another opportunity to practice new skills without prior baggage.

>> I'm a long way from there, and in no way certain about how to get there -- or even how soon it will be possible to even complete the journey. <<

Which is why you need to look at what you can do here and now. Otherwise it's a lot like "I'll be happy when I'm skinny." A lot of non-cis people find that gender is a journey, not a destination. There are mountains upon mountains ... which is actually cool, because it's exciting territory to explore. Sure it's tiring sometimes. So is hiking up to see a sunrise above the clouds.
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