The Break Room : Genderqueer in the Workplace (w/ KC Cross)

This is the podcast adaptation of the 18th episode of The Break Room! Dr. LaWanda Hill welcomes special guest KC Cross to talk about being genderqueer in the workplace. Part of the Living Corporate network, The Break Room is focused on mental health, wellness and healing for Black folks at work. You can expect real talk from real experts about the real ways Black folks can protect and heal themselves from racialized trauma at work.

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TRANSCRIPT

Dr. LaWanda Hill (00:09): Hello, y’all and happy Thursday. Welcome to The Break Room where you have a moment to take a break. And we focused on all things black mental health in the workplace. I am Dr. LaWanda Hill, one of the co-hosts, one of the four co-host of The Break Room. My lovely co-hosts have been holding me down. I’ve been away for some time because I had surgery. And I’m back, and I’m super excited to be back because we have an amazing guest with us, KC Cross. I’m going to hype them up KC is in the mix. And I’m super, super excited y’all because we’re talking about gender in the workplace. And we’re going to have a specific focus on mental health tonight. So I want to just take a moment to pause and welcome all of you who will be listening to this recording later. Welcome all of you who are joining us live.

(01:00): We like to give an overview of what The Break Room is, who it focuses on, and what our flow is so you’ll know how we move. So we usually open up The Break Room, well, let me back up a little bit. Like I said, we are a crew of four black doctors who come together every Thursday, to talk black mental health in the workplace. We have Dr. Jide, who’s a social psychologist, Dr. Nikki, who is a counseling psychologist and former academic. And then we have Dr. Brian, who is a psychiatrist, and myself, Dr. LaWanda Hill, I’m a psychologist and curator of spaces. And we just come together and keep it one hundred, with our goal is to center black mental health and talk about that in the workplace. So that’s what, who we are, and what we bring to the table.

(01:48): Welcome to you all who are with us live. Justin, it’s good to have you. Our flow is, we move through a flow. Were we intro, we do a tea. Y’all, we really do, what’s been the tea for the last week. We like to keep things current, what’s relevant. And I was talking to KC and I was, do you even know what’s happened? I’ve been out of it because I had surgery. That’s my excuse. And KC has been moving. So we don’t really know what’s popping in the streets. If y’all know what’s popping in the streets, drop it in the comments.

KC (02:18): Let us know.

Dr. Hill (02:18): Let us know, because we do not know what’s popping in the streets. So we start off with a tea, and then we move into our topic. And we usually will either address that as the experts in the room, or we will have a guest who can address that in the room. And I’m so excited about KC is our guests tonight. And then we take a moment to take the questions from the audience and address that. And then we wrap up with our Last Nerve. So everybody know what their last nerve mean as black folks. People have been irritating you, they been aggravating you, and they did got on your last damn nerve. And we take a moment, we put our timer on, 60 to 90 seconds. Sometimes we go to 120 seconds, two full minutes. And we say, this is what the Last Nerve is. I’m going to give it to you, KC. because I’m gonna let you take the Last Nerve tonight as our special guests. And then we wrap up and we put it on repeat for the next week. So that’s our flow for those of you who are new to The Break Room.

(03:13): I’m going to hop in because we’re getting ready in honor of Pride Month, we’re getting ready to talk about gender queerness one. And then what that looks like in the workplace, in the impact of mental health. And so without further ado, I want to introduce KC. KC uses they them pronouns, and they are a licensed professional counselor in Northwest Arkansas. So we’ve got another [inaudible 00:03:36] professional in the building, which is why I think you are the perfect guest. KC is a mental health and performance clinician for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks. And I always want to know what that experience is like. I consider myself an athlete, and then, what is it like? Which I hope we can kind of squeeze into the conversation. What’s it like to be a mental health professional for the Razorbacks?

(04:01): And so, of course, six years, KC has worked in university counseling centers, servicing the LGBTQ+ community and bi-pap students. They’ve also provided trainings, workshops around gender, around sexuality and race to enhance organization’s knowledge and their service towards these diverse and racial identities, which we are hoping to do tonight. We’re going to provide some education around sexuality, around gender, as it relates for black folks and their mental health. So that people who are listening can either be validated, be seen, understand, and people who do not identify as these populations can enhance their knowledge and understanding so as to be more queer affirming.

(04:41): KC is very passionate about creating spaces for women, trans, gender non-conforming, and or non-binary individuals to explore their sexuality free of shame, and providing a healthy education around healthy sexual behaviors. And so you can follow KC on IG @KCcrossthree, KC’s always into some biking. Always and has been, always doing something. And also feel free to focus to check out their YouTube station. And I will ask you to put that in the chat, little bit later on tonight. Where KC describes their spirits, which in a dysphoria as a black and non-binary masked individual. So that’s KC.

(05:25): I met KC y’all through a yes, [inaudible 00:05:26] family. I met KC through a good friend of mine, Daniel Amador, who I work with at Stanford. And we did our first sashay right after the Taraji Show dropped. So Taraji showed up on black trends and then KC and I had a conversation about gender and sexuality one-on-one. We had a very dope time and I’m hoping to recreate that tonight as well. So I just wanted to give you a moment to just say anything you want to say to the people, before we even dive into the conversation, KC.

KC (06:00): Ooh, you can put me on a spot. I don’t know if I’ve got anything I want to say. But what’s up everybody. You’re gonna hear a little bit of my country accent coming out. LaWanda already talked about me from being from Arkansas tonight. So try not to make too much fun of me.

Dr. Hill (06:17): We’ll try. I was, KC, what you doing in Arkansas? Help me understand. I juts don’t…

KC (06:22): It’s so funny. The number of people that I meet and they’d be, you’re at Arkansas? But then when they come visit and they see the spot that I’m in, they’re okay, this makes sense. This is my hood.

Dr. Hill (06:33): Alright. It helps me. I’m coming.

KC (06:36): I’m trying to put Arkansas on the map.

Dr. Hill (06:38): Put them on the map KC. And make me want to come to Arkansas.

KC (06:38): It’s got to start somewhere.

Dr. Hill (06:40): Make me want to visit Arkansas in some way.

KC (06:44): Well, you know how it goes, back in the day, we had a bunch of black people down here in the south. And then everybody tried to get out of the south, go to Chicago, go to LA, get away from all these white people. But then you’ve got the folks that, some of us that stayed down here. So we’re trying to bring y’all back. Trying to bring you all back down here.

Dr. Hill (07:03): So, I will say this, for those of you who are listening, who are in the audience, you people of Arkansas, no shade. I think this is a perfect pivot for our conversation. Is Arkansas queer friendly and affirming is what I was concerned about? And so KC was talking about how there is a different space that is queer affirming and safe, psychologically safe as well as physically safe. So I think let’s just hop to the combo tonight. So as we all know, June is Pride Month and I enjoy pausing to really reflect on the history of Pride, what it is, what it means, what it should entail. I think it can get co-opted by commercialism. And I hate that. And so, I want it from your lens, KC, if you could just give us a brief history of how did Pride start, and what does it mean to you?

KC (07:53): Yeah. So, I told you, I’m gonna try to keep this as concise as possible because there’s so much history out there and I think more and more of it is coming out as we’re actually looking for these stories. But I feel every June we hear the first Pride was a riot and that’s true. But I think if you do your research, most places would be the first Pride started at Stonewall. And I think that’s the one that’s the most well-known. But from what I’ve known, from what I’ve learned from other queers, my ancestors is that Pride really started out in California. There was you had a riot out in Compton, I think it’s called the Compton Cafeteria Riots. You had Cooper’s Donuts Riots. There was the Black Cat Riot.

(08:40): So all of those things happened anywhere from five to 10 years before Stonewall ever even happened. And just like Stonewall, it was led by black trans women. And that’s the way that I look at Pride is, I try to Pride as my time to really boost and elevate even more so. How much black trans women have paved the way for, all of us. They are the ones that really kicked it off. And even with Stonewall, Marsha P. Johnson and ‹Pay it, no mind’ Johnson.

Dr. Hill (09:13): Yes. I love it.

KC (09:16): She’s been credited for throwing the first brick at Pride in Stonewall, when she threw a brick at the police. I think later on in life, she came back and was, no, that wasn’t me. But we’re gonna credit it to her because she did so much for our community. So Marsha ‹Pay it, no mind’ Johnson. She did.

Dr. Hill (09:30): Let’s give shots.

KC (09:30): Yeah. But you’ve got Marsha P Johnson, you’ve got Sylvia Rivera, you’ve got Ms. Major those are the people that I’ve come to put on this pedestal. The ones that I’ve come to be, yo, this is what Pride means. Not all this whitewash, capitalistic, rainbow B-S that’s out there now. Pride was started by black trans women. And it’s been held up by black trans women.

Dr. Hill (09:56): Oohhh let’s do it.

KC (09:56): I’m getting married next year. I would not be able to do that if it hadn’t had started for them. So that’s the way that I look at Pride.

Dr. Hill (10:12): Can you say that part again? Because I want Aaron to capture that. Aaron does our ami, Pride was… I want you to say it, because my skin crawled when you said it. Pride was started by black trans women [over-talk 00:10:21].

KC (10:20): What I’m going to say is Pride was started by black trans women. Yes. And it’s been held up by black trans women, it’s been elevated by black trans women. They have always been at the front of everything queer. And we have not given them the recognition that they need. Like everything else in history. It’s so whitewashed. And it’s no, I’m going to take every opportunity that I can to be, our people started this. Our people fell onto this.

Dr. Hill (10:51): This is where it started. And I love that. And I’m going to post it and I’m going to put you in a quote, if you don’t mind, on my own social media.

KC (10:57): Yes, that’s great.

Dr. Hill (10:57): Jennifer says shout out to her state, California Pride. Your state is the best state. I will say living here in California is a whole brand of its own. And then, is it a historic [inaudible 00:11:11] with trans folks too begin Stonewall. Yes, California has deep, deep trans, and black trans women started it. Black trans women have appealed it and maintained it and continue to pave the way. Because I firmly believe it’s always the most oppressed, most marginalized group who have the most.

KC (11:29): Who do the most.

Dr. Hill (11:30): Who have the most to loose, who have the most risk and put it all out there. And I appreciate that. So Pride for you is really celebrating those women and their contributions, and how they open up doors for you in your own right.

KC (11:44): Yeah, definitely. And it’s just, I didn’t know any of this as a kid, as a black kid growing up in Arkansas, the only thing I knew about being gay was all the gay people went to West Hollywood and San Francisco. So, I was, all right, when I grew up, I want go to West Hollywood, I’m going to San Francisco. But now that I’m older, I think back on those things, I never saw any black queer people in any of that representation until once I got into college and I started learning about all of this. It just blew my mind. I’m yo, we’ve been at the forefront. And so, I think for me, it’s like I’ve taken on this responsibility to keep trying to pave this way that our elders, our ancestors really, really kicked off 60, 70 years ago.

(12:33): I’m sure there was some stuff going on before then, but from what we know that’s really where it kicked off. And so for me, I want to take whatever privilege that I have now. I’m an elder.

Dr. Hill (12:53): [inaudible].

KC (12:53): Now, most black trans women, non-binary folks, o many of them died before the age of 35. And I’m not quite 35 yet, but I am on the older age range of people that are alive and getting to reap some of the benefits. And I don’t want to stop here. We’re going to keep building on this, we’re going to keep paving a way. I’m going to be as out as possible for the people that don’t feel comfortable, don’t feel safe to be out. Don’t have the support that I have to be out. So yeah, that’s Pride for me.

Dr. Hill (13:24): That’s Pride. I feel Pride. I feel Pride now, with you just talking about it, and I want to continue to have this conversation on other platforms. And I just feel it in my belly and I think it’s amazing. It’s wonderful. And I hope to circle back to that piece. That piece of being tan elder and what that means for you. But the educator in me, the professor in me wants to give people some common language so that they can really understand. So we understand where Pride originates from. When we talk about LGBTQ+, we’ve dropped some words, some names already. We said queer, we said trans, we said, non-binary. Let’s just take a step back and just provide some general descriptors on what it needs to be LG, your definition. Because we all know that everybody defines things for themselves, by themselves. But what does it mean to be LGBTQ+? And then we go to take that further to mental health in the workplace.

KC (14:16): I’m actually glad that you said this because I was actually having this conversation with my fiancé the other day. And this is just my own thing. I get so frustrated when people say LGBTQ+, but then they allies into that plus. And I’m we appreciate the allyship.

Dr. Hill (14:37): [inaudible].

KC (14:37): Yeah, I’ve heard that so many times, especially when you see LGBTQIA and people are, I’ve been in presentations where people be, oh, what’s the ‹A’ stand for? And before I can even get it out, someone else’s, oh, well that’s allies. And I’m, no. No. No. We appreciate your allyship, but this is ours. So, L – lesbian, bisexual, gay, trans, and the plus, there’s so many labels that we can go from the plus. You’ve got intersects, asexual, queer, if we listed all of them, it would be so long. So I usually stay away from LGBTQ, just because, honestly, for me, saying the term queer feels a lot more encompassing of it all. Queer can be your gender identity. It can be your sexual orientation. It can be the type of sex that you like to engage in. It can be your politics. So I like the word queer just for that reason. And, for myself personally, queer it covers so much of my identity.

(15:51): If I just say I’m queer, this person may take it as, okay I only date women. This person takes it as this, this person takes it as that. And it’s for me, it’s all of it. And I’m, non-binary, I’m masked. I’m a black queer person. I am pansexual. I am kinky. That’s to me, that’s what queer means. And so, when people tell me that they identify as queer, I’m, okay, what does that mean to you? Because it may not necessarily mean the same thing that it does to me. And even my fiancé, she now, self identifies as queer. And the way that she identifies as queer is very different from me. So I like that just because it’s a quick answer. And if people want to get into it, they can ask more questions or you can leave it at that. And be, okay, that’s cool.

Dr. Hill (16:39): Right. It could be an invitation.

KC (16:40): Yes.

Dr. Hill (16:41): Because it could. And that could be complex, because it’s so many different things for so many different people.

KC (16:44): So many different things.

Dr. Hill (16:45): And I see the question. We have a question segment, we’ll get to pronouns and pronoun descriptions and the importance of that later on. But when we were talking about this show, specifically, it’s Pride month. And for those of you who missed that, I hope you can catch the intro where KC really talked about what Pride meant to them. And, honoring their ancestors and telling those stories and understanding that black trans women have been the leaders of this movement for queer folks. And maintaining that movement and feeling obligated to them, to uphold it. Because KC considers themselves as an elder.

KC (17:22): Crazy.

Dr. Hill (17:22): Which, because for those people who joined in, can you repeat that again? What that eldership means to you and why it’s so important?

KC (17:31): Yeah, just the fact that later on this year, I’ll be 33. And growing up, I never knew anyone that was older that I could look up to and be okay this is somebody that I can see myself in. And this is someone that loves like me, or love similar me. And so, just the simple fact that so many of us die before the age of 35, and we don’t get to see that life. We definitely have some older ones. I met Miss Major, three years ago and, it took everything in me not to geek out. It was just I’m looking at this older woman who was there at Stonewall. Who has been fighting for years.

(18:15): So it’s just crazy. So yes, I’ve taken on this role because I realized these teenagers that are growing up now, they don’t have a whole lot of people that are older than me, that look like me, and think like me, and are very similar to them. So yes, I want to step into that role as best as I can. And I don’t want anyone to be just like me. I want you to pave your own way. But I also want people to be able to be able to look out and be, dang, there’s KC, and they’re 40 years old. And they’re living this life and it’s a very normal life. It doesn’t have to be full. It doesn’t have to constantly be full of trauma and hate. And I have so many great people around me and I want to showcase that you can be who you are, and you can love the way that you do. And if you find the right people there, they’re going to love you. And they’re going to uplift you, and they’re going to support you in everything possible.

Dr. Hill (19:14): Thart’s what I want to talk about tonight, I love that. I think that there is trauma, there is pain, there is structural discrimination and racist discrimination, but I do want to tap into it a little bit what that positive mental health looks like. That’s what I want to lift up. I want to lift up what that looks like. But before we get there, let’s move, taking them a step farther. And Jennifer, you were absolutely right to call yourself an ally, as part of LGBTQ+. I didn’t know that’s what the A stands for. It’s very presumptuous. And I’m pissed about it. I’m serious. And I got permission, because KC said it was too. So, we both pissed about it.

KC (19:50): Yes. Hate that.

Dr. Hill (19:50): So, if you say that you identify as queer. Queer can mean so many different things for you, if it’s that at your sexual identity, as well as your gender identity, as well as other aspects of you. But not everybody going to know that. So you take that into the workplace. So I know this is a very big question to tackle. But the implications of being queer. The title is gender queer, but just queer in genera. In the workplace, there all these pieces of your identity could be visible or hidden. What does that look and feel like, especially in your profession, as an OPC working for the Razorbacks?

KC (20:30): Yes. So now, I can say that I’m very comfortable in it. And I can show up fully as me, and I don’t feel like I have to look a certain way, or be a certain way in front of people. So I’m gonna take a few steps back to where I started. I graduated college and started moving into the workforce. This was 10 years ago, now. I was okay, I’ve gone through college, and all through college, I was very masked. I played basketball in college, so I could walk around in basketball shorts all the time, and no one really batted an eye. I was like a basketball player. [over-talk 00:21:03].

New Speaker (21:03): Just for the folks listening, mask. What’s mask, KC?

KC (21:07): Masculine. Excuse me, I’m sorry. I started geeking out on all this stuff. I’m sorry [inaudible 00:21:08].

Dr. Hill (21:14): I know. That’s why I’m here. I’m here to bring it in. Mask is being masculine [inaudible 00:21:15].

KC (21:16): Yes. Masculine person. And if I say fem, I just mean feminine. So yeah, coming out of college and I knew that I needed to get my first adult job. And so, every interview that I ever went on before the age of probably 27 was very feminine. It was, I don’t have a chest like you do, but like a shirt similar to the one here, tight pants, heels, hair done a certain way and all that. And that’s the only way that I knew to show up. Because even like with all the workshops and stuff that we did as seniors, it was girls show up to interviews like this, boys show up to interviews like this. And there was, at the time, I didn’t identify as non-binary because I didn’t know what it meant. So it was just, okay, well I can’t go to an interview in a suit, because that’s going to confuse people. So I was I may as well be uncomfortable if I want to have a job. And so, I did that whole dance for five or six years. And then it was around the time actually, that I met my fiancé and we were talking and I was getting ready to interview.

(22:29): And I was, I don’t really know what to wear. I want to be comfortable, but I can’t really show up like this. And she was why not? She’s if they don’t want you for who you are, then that’s not where you need to be. She was you are brilliant. You are incredibly smart. And that’s the only thing that should matter. So go into this interview, the way that you want to go into this interview. And I did, and I ended up getting that job. And when she said all that, I was she’s right. Why do I want to work somewhere that’s not going to accept me for me? The way that I dress, the way that I look, none of that has any weight on the work that I can do.

(23:10): I’ve always had a great GPA. Just because this person shows up this way and I show up this way, it doesn’t mean that they’re going to do a better job. It might make you feel uncomfortable.

Dr. Hill (23:21): Based on presentation.

KC (23:21): Right. It may make you feel more comfortable, but that’s more about you. That’s not about me. So, all that to say now, where I am, if you meet me, you’re going to get all of KC. You’re going to get all of KC. And it’s been interesting to navigate that at times, because when I meet people in work settings, they’re not quite sure how to address me. And I always tell people when I’m doing presentations being afraid to ask a queer person, or someone that you assume, or that you presume as queer, what their pronouns are, how they identify or whatever.

(23:59): Generally, that’s more uncomfortable for CIS gender. So people that identify with the sex that they were assigned at birth. And straight people, it’s a lot more uncomfortable for y’all. Us, we want you to ask. To me, that shows, that feels so respectful for you to ask me, what pronouns do you use? How do you identify? What name do you do you go by? That feels so, so much more respectful than you just assuming. So yes, the way that I move and work now, it’s justthis is me. I show up in button up tees and, and pants and some Chino pants and some nice shoes. And that’s who I am.

Dr. Hill (24:41): [inaudible].

KC (24:41): That’s right.

Dr. Hill (24:44): [over-talk 00:24:44] to the question and I want to talk about that. Please tell me your name. It’s ESL RAC. Please explain the importance of pronouns. I think you just said it. We have a lot of assumptions. I think, and correct me if I’m wrong, KC, like check me, call me, you know, we good like that. So I feel like there’s a lot of assumptions about how people identify in terms of their gender. Their gender expression. Do they consider themselves male, female, queer, non-conforming, non-binary. And we make those assumptions based on what we see. What their phenotypical presentation is. Arguably, to be fair, sometimes what you see is safe to say, okay, I would say, if you look at me with this lipstick, this makeup on, this shirt off my shoulder, my hair, you would assume that I identify as a female.

(25:32): And I would say, yes, I identify as a female. You may look at KC and you may say, oh, okay. How do they identify? So we don’t want to make assumptions because we don’t know, if let’s just say, I did identify as non-conforming or non-binary. And I’m struggling with that, which is a whole other conversation about gender dysphoria, and so forth. And you refer to me as a female, or she, or her, it could be triggering. So one of the things that we can do to be safe, if you will, KC, is to say, how do you identify? What are your pronouns?

KC (26:05): To me and everybody. And I say this all the time, it’s a lot easier not to offend someone, if you just blanket statement that to everyone. I can look at you and be, okay to me, she looks like a woman, but I shouldn’t just assume that. Because like you just said, maybe you are dealing with some gender dysphoria. And I have friends now, who are very feminine presenting and they identify as non-binary. But because their gender is expressed in a feminine way, they’re like, I don’t know how to correct people, because it’s always she, her, or Miss This. And it’s well, this is the way I’m presenting. And they present that way because they’re comfortable that way. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that up here, that they only identify as a woman. And so, I like to tell people yeah, generally we can assume and be, okay, that’s a woman, that’s a man. But if we just started to ask people pronouns or provide our own pronouns, whenever we are being introduced to someone. That does make this space feel a little bit more comfortable for everyone. I love it when I meet people and they’re, Hey, my name is Bob and I use he, him and his. Awesome. Thank you. Because you just invited me to share my pronouns with you.

Dr. Hill (27:25): I about to say, what does that communicate to you?

KC (27:28): Yes. When people do that, I’m, you just invited me to do this. And now, I don’t necessarily know. I don’t want to speak for everyone, but for myself, anytime I’m meeting a new person, I’m always, how are they going to perceive me? And when someone introduces themselves and they provide their pronouns to me, that takes away a layer for me to be I’m gonna keep my distance from this person, until I know them well enough. It’s, oh, okay you might actually respect me. And so I’m more willing to engage in a conversation with you. So yeah, I love it when people provide me with their pronouns first. I’m okay, cool.

Dr. Hill (28:05): Would it be fair to say, thank you, Cynthia, for providing your name. Would it be fair to say that it can communicate some level of psychological safety for you to know that you’ll be conscious of the queer community, people who may not be on the binary? And that leads me to the next point. That, to me, foster some sense that psychological safety is what we need for positive mental health. We want to feel safe. We want to feel people are aware of the complexity of gender, the complexity of sexuality, and not just limited in one perspective, because the chances are high. If you’re not aware, you’re probably gonna micro-aggress me, or offend me, or trigger me in some type of way. And then [inaudible 00:28:49].

KC (28:49): Yeah. And that right there, like you’re going to trigger me. I was actually talking to a friend yesterday, we were talking about gender identity and it hit me in that moment. I never really thought about it. I mean, I think I knew it was there, but I never actually just sat and thought about it. I think about my gender every single day and multiple times throughout the day. Several times throughout the day, I am reminded in some way that I am not normal. That I identify very differently from a lot of people around me. That most of the world is very binary and I need to pick a side. And it occurred to me in that moment, I was, those things are very church, or are very triggering. However, if I allow myself to become overwhelmed, and anxious, and very emotional in that moment, I would never get through my day because it happens so often. And she is a cis gender straight black woman. She was KC, whenever I think about my gender, it’s only about safety. When I’m walking down the trail, am I safe? She’s I don’t think about it the way that you just did. And she was just saying how it gave her a different perspective, how often this thing. So I’m constantly moving through the world, thinking about my gender, constantly thinking about being black. And it’s always something, the wheels are always turning. And I don’t say that to be, oh, woe to me. I’ve learned to cope with it, but I want people to be aware of, we’re not just moving through our lives every day and only thinking about everyday things. These are the things that are always on the back of our minds, and a lot of black people.

Dr. Hill (30:35): [inaudible].

KC (30:35): Yes. Just like a lot of black people, when we’re going into spaces, it’s am I going to be the only black person here? How are these people gonna act? Who’s going to say something? It’s the exact same thing for black people.

Dr. Hill (30:46): I want to unpack that a little bit more KC, because we talk about this in our last conversation. It was just so phenomenal. I love gathering with you because I think that you just eliminate things in such a very profound way, but also in ways that people can digest it. So you have these different markers of your identity, that society has cast it as not normal, which impacts mental health. And so I want to talk about the pieces the things that you have done in the workplace specifically, that have helped facilitate positive mental health, and then some of the barriers. So you can have these different markers of your identity. You’re black, that’s visible. You are a gender queer, that’s visible. You are a queer identified in terms of your sexuality, that’s invisible. People may or may not know that, but they may make assumptions, but they may or may not know that. And already we’ve identified three minority markers, that’s not with the majority. [inaudible 00:31:41] I try to stay away from normal, but the majority is heterosexual, cisgender, white arguably, but the global majority is not white.

KC (31:54): Yes, definitely.

Dr. Hill (31:54): So these different things that you constantly thinking about, impact your mental health, then you take that into the workplace. We’ve got this whole in the code of conduct. And you speak about, at the beginning of your career being very fem presented although I cannot even picture you like that. [inaudible 00:32:09]

KC (32:10): I know it’s funny. I sent one of my best friends my senior prom picture the other day. And she was , holy shit, you were fine as hell then, and you were still fine as hell. And she was, but I [over-talk 00:32:25].

Dr. Hill (32:23): Can I see it KC?

KC (32:25): Yes, I’ll share with you. I’ll share it because I did. I looked good.

Dr. Hill (32:32): [inaudible]. I can’t even envision [inaudible 00:32:32].

KC (32:32): I had my nails done and everything.

Dr. Hill (32:35): KC is a Scorpio. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to [inaudible 00:32:37] you right there. KC is a Scorpio. And so, I knew that they had some fights. And so, however you was presenting, back in the day, or currently I knew you would have a little bit of, I knew you was coming a hundred [inaudible 00:32:49]. So, I got [inaudible 00:32:51], you talk about nails and prom and all that. I’m like [inaudible 00:32:55].

KC (32:57): I know.

Dr. Hill (32:57): But you presented in both ways. So I think that I really want to pause to underscored that there was a period of time where you said, although it may have made you uncomfortable, that was the model. That was the rubric. That was the schema. So you were willing to be uncomfortable to land a job. So you presented in this very feminine way, but you do not identify as right. And then, now, which I’m happy to hear, you’re coming to your own. You feel very comfortable. You present as you present. What has been the factors in a workplace that you feel helps cultivate a positive mental health for you? Or what factors have you had to navigate that just was detrimental to that mental health?

KC (33:35): So I will say the mentors that I had around me, and I’m so thankful and lucky because now that I’m back in the athletic department, I am surrounded by those same people that I showed up to work, and they didn’t bat an eye.

Dr. Hill (33:51): Wow.

KC (33:53): I went from one year dressing very feminine to the next year dressing very masculine. And they did not bat an eye whatsoever. It was , okay, you’re here to do a job. And I started my GA ship when I was 24, 25, something like that. So they have known me for almost 10 years.

Dr. Hill (34:15): I see your trajectory.

KC (34:15): Yes. Let’s say eight years. And they have always supported me. They knew I had a girlfriend at the time, and it was all right. Do you and your girlfriend want to come over [inaudible 00:34:24]? They never made my sexuality or my gender identity feel like it was an issue for them, because–

Dr. Hill (34:35): [inaudible]

KC (34:36): Yes. As a GA in the athletic department, I don’t know if other departments on campuses work like this, but when you work directly with your supervisor, you are instantly their representation. So that was the thing that I was most worried about, is because, if I’m going out and I’m representing my two mentors, I want to make sure that I represent them in a positive way. Because I have to like step into meetings for them, if they couldn’t be there. And they never once was, no, I don’t want you in this meeting. Or, Hey, I need you to show up to this meeting, looking like this. They were, we want you to be comfortable. Come in, however you want. And I think that made such a huge difference for me because I’ve talked to other people who express their gender very similar to me. And they were, I wish I would have had that because, for far too long, I was going to interviews and I was showing up to work very uncomfortable, and hating myself because I wasn’t being true to who I was. And I’m so incredibly thankful for that. And they were two black women.

KC (35:43): And I have this very, I don’t know, just, black women are, they can just be so supportive. And I think, yes, I would say that me so much, because I think it would be very different if when I started in athletics, if I would have had white supervisors, or more male supervisors. This is the first time in my life I’ve ever worked for a white man. And he is an incredible, incredible ally and incredible advocate. He is always fighting for us. We don’t have gender neutral bathrooms right now. And he started the job like five months before I did, and now they are going to be implementing gender neutral bathrooms, because he pushed so hard for it. And I’m, that’s what we need. We just need some support. And we just want people to be, Hey, I’m going to fight for you because you’re a human and you deserve the same rights that I have. It shouldn’t be about, well, you can get some of the rights and [over-talk 36:49].

KC (36:50): Can I ask you something? I hate when I ask for something and people would be well. I’m not asking for nothing crazy. I’m not asking you for you to give me an extra million dollars for being black, or for being gay.

Dr. Hill (36:59): [over-talk 00:36:58].

KC (36:59): I’m asking for the same things you get on a daily basis. I think that the support it’s so big and just feeling included, and feeling accepted, and feeling like I can just show up and be me. And that takes so much of the other stress out of being at work.

Dr. Hill (37:22): Right. Because once you have that support, is what I’m hearing. Once you feel seen, people just see you. They’re not trying to put you in a box. That they can see you for who you are. Then when they see you, they accept you. They invite you to be who you are by way of support. Then you feel like you now have, is permission too strong of a word, to show up as yourself?

KC (37:46): Yes. I think that’s it. I think that’s it. I think that’s a great word. And I often think about, as black people, we get tired of code switching at work all the time. Sometimes [inaudible 00:37:54] I just want to talk the way that I talk, but that’s one thing I like really try to get black people to understand. If we get tired of doing that, think about…

Dr. Hill (38:07): Other layers.

KC (38:08): Yes, it’s so many layers to it. So you’ve gotta think about all of these things, queer people code switch too. We show up professional and I think now that I’m getting older, I’ve kind of gotten to that point where I’m, no.

Dr. Hill (38:23): [over-talk]

KC (38:25): Yes. You know [over-talk00:38:30]

Dr. Hill (38:32): You’re going to get this country slang sometimes, you’re going to get these laughs, and that’s just blackness. It’s what you eliminate, I think, is so important that I really want people to get. That’s just blackness. That’s just choosing to be who you are in your blackness. The privileges that I have is that I am a cisgender female. So you’re not making these assumptions about my gender. And you don’t know I’m heterosexual. You can probably predict, if I don’t say otherwise, which we’re going to get to your question, Jennifer. Do I have to navigate these other layers? That’s the piece that I think, the parts that impact mental health, when you’re trying to think about it and navigate I’m black, but what’s my gender identity, what’s my sexual identity? What are people predicting? Because it’s really about people. It’s never about the person.

KC (39:13): Is what they’re projecting on you.

Dr. Hill (39:15): Projecting onto you, how they think you should be. And if they haven’t been exposed to something different or they haven’t broadened their perspective. Then, they start to box you in that will impact your mental health. But positive mental health, I want to be able to have you alluding for people, is feeling seen, feeling validated, having support and giving yourself permission to really just show up as your authentic self.

KC (39:37): Yes. And just being able to express the joy that I have of being black and being queer. I’m queer year-round, but it’s nice to be a little extra, in June.

Dr. Hill (39:50): I love it! I love it. There’s a quote again. I’m queer year-round, but in June, you take it up a notch.

KC (40:01): Just a little extra. Just a little extra. And the people that I have around me, my direct supervisor and my coworkers, it’s just three of us in our department, but the athletic department is huge. But it’s, yes, people just allow me to show up. And, we were talking the other day and someone had made the comment and was, oh, you’re probably the only non-binary person, or trans person in athletic department. And I was, probably not, but someone else maybe, doesn’t feel comfortable being out.

KC (40:38): And I can be out. I feel very comfortable, they don’t have to come, they don’t have to be out. They don’t have to share this part of their life with work. If you want to keep work and your personal life separate, that’s cool. But I also want people to lsee me and be okay, KC is able to navigate this environment. And if someone does want to reach out and talk to me, my door is always open. I would never share this with any of my coworkers, but I have had people in that atheltic department reach out and be, Hey, I actually identify as this. How do you navigate this? How do you navigate this? I kind of want to talk to my supervisor about it and just let them know. Because they keep asking if I have a boyfriend, if I have a girlfriend? How do I navigate these conversations? So I’m, yes, I’m here to help anyone because I know how it felt back in the day. I grew up in this country. I grew up in the black community. So everything about being queer, I was being told that I should hate that part of myself. And when you constantly hear people saying faggot this and dyke this and you start to take it on yourself.

Dr. Hill (41:57): [inaudible].

KC (41:57): Yes. You start to taking it on yourself and it’s, oh, I’m this shitty person. I’m this horrible person that, I need to kill this part of myself. And I’m, I love that part of myself, being queer, non-binary that has allowed me to take off all these boxes about my life. I now know my life doesn’t have to look a certain way. I don’t have any restrictions about how I need to show up in the world, because I can just show up as myself. And it’s also allowed me to, share that with other people. When people come to me and they tell me a part of themselves, I’m like, okay, that’s cool. Why should I have any judgment about your life? You live your life and I’m going to live my life. And I’m going to love you for being who you are, unless you are a pedophile or something. I want all of us–

Dr. Hill (42:50): KC says, let’s not get out of line.

KC (42:56): Yes, I do have to draw a line somewhere. I love people to show up as themselves? Yes.

Dr. Hill (43:00): And you want that. I love what you just shared. It’s like, these parts of yourself specifically as growing up as black. The black culture is very homophobic, very transphobic in a lot of ways. And I think it’s important to name that and that those messages you internalize. And I hope that black folks out there hear that. People may not be identifying as queer or as non-binary, or on the spectrum, non-conforming but they may identify that way. Maybe they don’t have the language, but that’s how they identify. So we gotta be mindful of our words because people internalize that and it impacts their mental health in some capacity. And we want them to love every part of themselves, because I love those parts. The very part that you just mentioned is the very part that I love about you, that I think have made this a great working relationship.

Dr. Hill (43:47): So I’m grateful. I’m full. We’re got to continue this part two, outside of The Break Room. But I think it’s been really good. We get to the segment where we’ve been talking so much, but I appreciate y’all for engaging. We are actually taking your questions. So I hope we answered your question, Cynthia, on the importance of pronoun descriptions, because of this very reason., Some things that KC just said, sometimes we’re asking people if they have boyfriends or girlfriends and it could be completely mis-gendering, and it could be completely rooted in a lot of assumptions that they are not sure how to navigate. And then, yes, I want to ask this one question before we do wrap up KC.

KC (44:26): Yes, I can’t see the questions. [over-talk 00:44:27] Okay.

Dr. Hill (44:29): I got you. Jennifer said I recently was illuminated to how some folks in the LGBTQ we’re going to take out that A, now that I’ve learned what it is. Our [over-talk 00:44:39].

KC (44:40): We are going to come back to that, because I’ll tell you what I use. I describe the A for asexual. So I’m fine with it on there. I just don’t like it when they, be it’s allyship.

Dr. Hill (44:49): Okay. All right. That’s good. [inaudible 44:56] put yourself in the identity. Anyway. Okay. So asexual, I am assuming it’s asexual. I recently was illuminated to how some folks in the LGTBQAI are faced with the decision to come out. And Jennifer put it in quotations. In new groups, environments work or otherwise. And this experience never dawned on me, which Jennifer feels embarrassed by that. Embarrassingly. Can you please share your perspective on that? And the implications, if any, to your mental health, on this idea that we, the decision to come out in [inaudible 00:45:27] and the implications to mental health?

KC (45:30): Yes. I’m glad you mentioned that. Thank you, Jennifer. I think a lot of people, myself included, when I was growing up, look at coming out as this one time, this big one-time event. And that’s never the case. We have to come out sometimes almost daily, just depending on what environments we’re moving in. But really, anytime we step into a new environment, for sure, if we feel that it is a safe and supportive enough environment environment, we do come out. And like Tuesday, I’m very comfortable with who I am, but if I’m moving into a space that doesn’t feel comfortable, or safe, for me to be like I’m non-binary and I use they, them and their pronouns. I don’t share that, because at the end of the day, as comfortable as I am with myself, I still want to be alive. I still want to be safe.

Dr. Hill (46:28): Ans we still live in that hateful world.

KC (46:29): Yes. And even like the whole concept of coming out and this is something that I’ve been reading and thinking about and having conversations with my friends about. The whole coming out is a very Western ideal. And every now and then I do use coming out or being out. I like sharing or opening up because it’s like, I don’t know. To me, the way that I look at coming out, and the way that I look at the closet, it feels very shameful. And I don’t want people who have not shared or who have not come out yet, to feel shame about that. If it’s not safe or comfortable for you to be out, and for you to celebrate Pride in the way that a lot of us do. I don’t want you to do that, but I also don’t want you to feel shame about it.

Dr. Hill (47:28): That you hadn’t come out.

KC (47:30): Yes. We don’t make straight people come out. So why should we have to come out? And so I like go back and forth. I get the whole national coming out day and being out and what all of that means. And I describe myself as very out to help other people. But yes, I’m trying to figure out the best way to shift that language, so that it doesn’t feel as shameful. And that’s what I like to tell people. It’s whenever people say, Hey, I identify as this. I just say, thank you for sharing with me. Not, good job on coming out or anything like that.

Dr. Hill (48:05): Or good job on [inaudible 00:48:06]?

KC (48:07): Yes, I’m glad that you entrusted me with that. That is such a huge part to people, so I would say if you ever have someone open up and share that part of their life with you, thank them, because that is hard.

Dr. Hill (48:23): And [inaudible 00:48:23] are saying is that it has huge implications to not only people’s mental health, Jennifer, but their physical health. Because, I’ve worked with a number of clients who are in [inaudible 00:48:33] event. Spaces that is not physically, their safety, legit safety is jeopardized if they were to identify as queer, or trans, or gay, or lesbian, or what have you.

KC (48:47): LaWanda, the number of kids that I have worked with, it has blown my mind that have been through conversion therapy. I am shocked. I thought this was gone.

Dr. Hill (49:01): Go. [inaudible 00:49:01].

KC (49:03): And I have worked with a number of kids who have told me, they have gone off to like church camps. And they later figured out that they were conversion camps. And I’m just, this is still happening. This is still happening after all this evidence has come out.

Dr. Hill (49:20): Yes, stop. There’s no evidence to support. Let me be clear. There’s no evidence to support conversion therapy works. For those of you who do not know, conversion therapy, [over-talk 00:49:30].

KC (49:30): Not even in the church.

Dr. Hill (49:31): [inaudible 00:49:31] you’re wrong, KC. Not even in the church, not even sweet Lord Jesus, because I don’t believe that’s the sweet Lord Jesus doing it. When you believe that you can send people to spaces, to camps, to therapy, to these groups where they can be converted and get rid of their queerness, get rid of their sexuality, get rid of their gender. Identity is not the case. Really these people who are sending people need to be in the camps. They need to be in therapy, to deal with their own internalized homophobia. Their own internalized transphobia. Their own internalized views that could be rooted in generational eras, but it’s no support of that. In fact, what the research does tells us that does more harm, for people. They have to recover from that. [inaudible 00:50:13].

KC (50:14): Yes. And I haven’t quite figured out how to help people like that. That’s something, that’s trauma. Trying to work through that, it’s just like any other traumatic event that people go through. I didn’t mean to derail us there. But I had to to say that.

Dr. Hill (50:30): No, no, no, that needs to happen. It leads me to my point that I want to wrap us up before we leave. Before we go into the lLast Nerve. KC, what would you say to people, we’ve covered a lot. We’ve covered what Pride means to you. Some people believe it started at Stonewall, others know that the SF, San Francisco, the Bay Area, it could be the birth of that. We’ve talked about what it means to identify as LGBTQAI+, what that means for you. What it’s like being gender queer in the workplace, the impact of mental health. And what I want to focus and hop on is, positive mental health. As a person who identifies with these minority markers, what do you want people to know about their role in facilitating positive mental health, where people who identify as queer? We all play a role, what is your role? What is our roles?

KC (51:26): The best advice that I can give people, and it sounds, however, it sounds. But it’s just, we’re all humans. We all want to be treated like a human. We all want to be treated with basic human rights. And it’s really not that difficult. I feel people really go out of their way to not treat people like humans. To treat people less than. And I’m if you can just take that effort and put it into really seeing someone, truly seeing someone. Connecting with someone, get proximate with someone. I use that term all the time. You don’t know what other people are dealing with if you’ve never been. If you’ve never been around a queer person, you don’t know the issues in a queer community.

KC (52:15): If you’ve never been around a black person, you don’t know the issues in a black community. You may have read some stuff, but until you really talked to a black person, you really talked to a queer person, until you really talked to a trans person. You don’t really know how they feel or how these things impact them. You can read all the research articles and all the whatever on the news. But really take a moment, take a chance to get to know someone and think about how you would want to be treated in that situation. Think about how you would want to be treated period. Don’t nobody want to be sent to a conversion camp. Don’t nobody want to be micro-aggressed against. Don’t nobody want to be disrespected.

Dr. Hill (52:53): Don’t nobody want you to make decisions about who they are, all the time.

KC (52:56): Exactly. You want to live your life as happily, and as joyfully and as loving as you can. And it’d be other people that mess all of that up.

Dr. Hill (53:09): They be the ugly.

KC (53:09): You’d be the ugly [inaudible 00:53:09] but I always told people when I’m around my black queer friends, that is the most relaxed that I feel, it is the most love that I feel, it is the most joy that I feel because it’s like, we all understand one another, and we show up with love. And each of us need to be loved differently. And we respect that. Each of us need to be shown affection differently. And we respect that. And there’s still so much that the rest of humanity, the rest of the world can learn from black, queer, trans, non-binary people.

Dr. Hill (53:48): I wholehearted agree.

KC (53:48): Yes. If we just take the chance to do it.

Dr. Hill (53:51): Be proximate.

KC (53:51): Yes, it’s been us, fighting for everybody. Now, we’re not picking and choosing who we fight for because we see them. We’re fighting for everybody. We’re even fighting for white women. We’ve been fighting for white men that need it every now and then. We try to make it a better world for everybody to just like–

Dr. Hill (54:10): Bless your hearts.

KC (54:12): I know.

Dr. Hill (54:13): [inaudible].

KC (54:13): I know. We’ve got so much love. We got so much love to share, just let us.

Dr. Hill (54:17): And we want to do our part, KC. I have definitely, I appreciate that. And I hope people have heard that, and that people have taken it in. You have got to connect. You’ve gotta get proximate, in proximity to connect to the humanity. When you connect to the humanity all the other socialization, all the other boxes, the assumptions should come undone. And when you connect to the humanity, just like you’re connecting with people who tell you how they want to be held, or not held, touched, or not touched, love or not love. That is the same thing with, I believe queer folks. I think that that’s the same thing for black queer folks. And we have to show that level of empathy, and interests in humanity and be able to connect to that. And that connection should involve action, because you’re going to hear the discrimination, the challenges that they face, and we hold privilege in being able to fight some of those good fights.

KC (55:06): And when you say that, that’s an easy way to fight for us. We are mis-gendered or micro-aggressed against everyday. And we get sick and tired of fighting for ourselves everyday. If you hear someone mis-gender someone, step in. Don’t make it to where that that person has to fight for themselves. Step in and be, Hey, actually, this person uses these pronouns. And hopefully, the other person just says, oh, okay, my bad. And leave it alone. If it escalates, you know which side you’ve got to pick. Well, if they be like, well, they didn’t mean… No.

Dr. Hill (55:43): No, no. No, no. Be ready.

KC (55:47): Yes. That is so simple. And it feels like whenever I have people step in and be, oh, actually KC uses they, them and their pronouns. I’m like, thank you. I feel very–

Dr. Hill (55:56): Because like I was saying, would you say then if you’re going to be in proximity, I hope you understand what it means to have a person’s back? Because that [inaudible 00:56:02]? I’ve seen that happen. And this has happened. I’ve had to say different things to different people, because you can see the stone look on people’s face of… Most times when the person who being mis-gendered or micro-aggressed, it’s just acting with blackness. When you feel it, it’s like, can you chill out? For real.

KC (56:20): Yes. Or you just made everybody uncomfortable. But I love it because whenever you do that, it makes that other person, again, it makes them recognize, oh, like I’m kind of an asshole. And not to make anybody feel bad, but it’s oh, there are other people are on board with this., and it’s me that’s not getting on board. And I don’t want to be outcasted. Nobody wants to be outcasted. And so, for the most part, unless you’re just a jerk, they’re going to be okay, you’re right. My bad. I’m going to work on that. If you make a mistake, that’s fine. I’m not saying don’t mess up. If you mess up, just be, Hey, my bad and keep it pushing. Don’t be, oh, you know, I’m all for the LGBTQ community. My bad. I would never. No, just apologize and keep the conversation moving.

Dr. Hill (57:10): Oh, my bad. I try to model it.

KC (57:11): I think you had a perfect example earlier. Oh you mis-gender me, and was, Hey, my bad and kept it going. That’s literally all we want. Because when you start doing all the other stuff, we’d be like, okay.

Dr. Hill (57:21): Now, it’s uncomfortable. Then it becomes about you.

KC (57:26): Yes. I’s not about you. Can we move on?

Dr. Hill (57:31): Okay. This is perfect. Because that’s the perfect pivot. I want you to think about if you feel, if you have the emotional capacity, if not, you can make your Last Nerve something different. So I don’t want to overburden you. Because if somebody asks me, most times, my Last Nerve is about some anti-black shit, because it’s just so prevalent. But if that’s not your thing, let it not be your thing. All of these examples that we’ve talked about of people mis-gendering or micro-aggressing, or what does Pride mean? And rainbows and all this shit. I want to give you 90 seconds to talk about what is it that gets on your last nerve. And you can be free, speak free, speak candidly that you want people to know. And I’m going sum it up for you. Hold on. Let me get my, let me get my

KC (58:17): All right. I only got 90 seconds. I had a lot of time to think about this. It may not come out in the most PC and eloquent way.

Dr. Hill (58:27): It shouldn’t. That’s the whole point of it KC.

KC (58:30): I’m gonna let it flow. I’m gonna let my ancestors flow through me.

Dr. Hill (58:32): Flow through you. Okay, hold on. Let me get again, one minute 30. Hold on I’m gonna tell you.

KC (58:38): I might not even need 90 seconds.

Dr. Hill (58:40): And go. Give it to us.

KC (58:41): All right. First thing, if it’s Pride month, if it’s Pride month, do not be asking queer people to do stuff for free. I’ve had friends ask for their artwork. I’ve had friends ask to come speak on things. I’ve had friends asked to contribute to all these like different things. And it benefits the organization. You throw your little rainbow and trans flag on, and it benefits you and it ups your net worth. But it does nothing. Hey, sorry. My dog just drinking. Hey, don’t go there.

(59:18): It does nothing to help our communities. And it’s the same with black people too. Stop asking black people to do stuff for free. It pisses me off. You want to look like the most woke, and the most accepting, and the most LGBTQ friendly places, and people. And there’s so much more action that needs to happen if you are an ally, you are anti-racist. There’s so much action that needs to happen. You can’t just throw the words out there. That’s my number one thing. Being anti-black it’s just come on. It’s 2021 it’s 2021 step into it. Step into 2021. It’s so past being, we’re so done with the anti-blackness. There, I’m done.

Dr. Hill (01:00:12): No, no. Keep going. Wrap it up. Keep going.

KC (01:00:12): We’re done with the anti-blackness. That’s all I want to bring, done with the anti-blackness. This world, this country, especially we could be so much better. We could be so, so much better if this country would value black and brown people, the way that they need to. We make everything better. Everything that white people have, we have taken and made so much better. Everything from our cultures that they want to steal. We make things great. So if you want to talk about making America great, you gotta look to us. Because y’all have been in charge of this country since whenever the hell. I don’t even know my history, 1776, but a little bit before then. Y’all would have been in charge of this country for so long. Open it up. I’m not saying give it all to us, but you’ve got black people, you’ve got Latin X, you’ve got natives that can make this country really be what it was founded to be. If you would just relinquish some of that power. Relinquish some of that control.

Dr. Hill (01:01:20): Let go some of the damn power.

KC (01:01:20): And let us fix it. Let us make this country good. And give us some money. Give us some reparations. Reparations and land back.

Dr. Hill (01:01:34): Listen. I love it. I love it KC. Lady, I was about to say, ladies and gentlemen, there I go. People. KC Cross. I hope you have thoroughly enjoyed KC Cross. KC, you have convicted me.

KC (01:01:44): You’ve got me sweating.

Dr. Hill (01:01:45): The that’s what that Last Nerve should do to you. If you ain’t sweating, you ain’t did it right. You ain’t did it right. So, y’all I’m so grateful. I’m so indebted to you, KC. Please, and I mean this, sincerely please, send me an invoice. Please send me the invoice. Thank you for your vulnerability. Thank you for your labour. Thank you for your time. This is the moment where you get to take it up a notch. I be knowing, because I’m like Juneteenth and Black History. I’m about to be extra, extra black. [over-talk 01:02:13].

KC (01:02:14): Hopefully, nobody from work is on this. So, last year they gave us Juneteenth off. And they sent that email out this year about being off. And I’m, like I’m taking the day off anyways. I’m not using my PTO. I’m going to be off that day. Don’t ask me to do nothing. It’s Juneteenth.

Dr. Hill (01:02:31): It’s Junetenth. I’m gonna make it a national holiday. If 2021 didn’t teach y’all nothing, you need to understand. If corporate is listening, please make Juneteenth a national holiday at your job or a day off at your job. Because we need this.

KC (01:02:39): Yes. A paid day off.

Dr. Hill (01:02:41): A paid day off. You’ve been incredible KC. I have thoroughly enjoyed you. I got some quotes. I’m about to be quoting you all over my social media. We definitely have enjoyed you. Thank you, Jennifer. Thank you, Cynthia, for your questions. Thank you for those of you who have engaged. And for those of you who are going to listen, I really ask that you listen with an open heart and a posture of curiosity because that’s where empathy can begin. And that’s where ignorance can be torn down. So thank you so much for that, KC. We’ve gotta have you again. Y’all be well.

KC (01:03:16): Thank you. It’s all ways a good conversation.

Dr. Hill (01:03:16): We have thoroughly enjoyed you. Enjoy the rest of your night. And I hope that y’all will join us next week. Same time, same place as we wrap up season one of The Break Room.

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