S4 E127 | CXR Uncorked: Gin, Espresso and Pronouns

Rocki Howard and Katrina Kibben join Chris and Gerry in this special podcast to discuss pronouns, labels and verbal faux pas people make and the impact they have.

Welcome to CareerXroads Uncorked a series of member chats inspired by good drinks and current talent acquisition trends your hosts Chris Hoyt and Gerry Crispin break down today’s recruiting headlines while reviewing a select beverage of choice with industry leaders and influencers join us for a drink in conversation.

Warning This CXR podcast is longer than our usual conversation, because there was just so much good stuff, we couldn’t leave any of it out. Also, now’s the time to pop in those headphones and clear the kids out of the room. Because we didn’t censor any of it either. Consider yourself warned. Now turn it up and enjoy.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 0:45
Welcome everybody to another edition of the CXR podcast. I am excited, excited, excited. And hopefully a little tipsy by the time this thing is over. But I’m excited to introduce some folks today we’re doing an Uncorked session. And maybe it’s a little unfiltered. So that might be kind of exciting to Gerry, say hello to everybody.

I don’t think I’ve had peach snap since high school. Wow.

Rocki Howard, The Mom Project 2:54
It’s a holdover from my high school days, by the way. All right. Fuzzy navels. So cheers.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 3:01
Cheers, Rocki. And next up, we have Katrina Katrina, tell us who you are, what you do and what your drink is.

Katrina Kibben, Three Ears Media 3:08
Yeah, so my name is Katrina Kibben. I run a company called Three Ears Media and we teach recruiters to write. I have spent a lot of time in this industry. And I figured out that hiring is always hard. But the one thing we can control the one variable that we can actually use and always think about is how we ask and how we speak to people. And so I built an entire firm of really incredible writers who have recruiting backgrounds, and create content that is equitable, that is considerate, and that is human. And I’m really, really proud of that. That means that I do a lot of training, talking and writing all day every day. And as far as what I’m drinking right now, I am drinking the other mother of invention espresso.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 3:57
I love it. And do you have any of the three ears, I see one of the three years behind you.

Katrina Kibben, Three Ears Media 4:01
They are all back here? So behind me for those of you can’t see the visual is my big dog Lyric. She is a lab and she has one big ear and that’s where we get the third ear. The other two years are on a tiny little Boston terrier with a lot of attitude and a very large smell but we can talk about her some other time.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 4:22
Welcome to the show.

Katrina Kibben, Three Ears Media 4:25
Thank you for having me.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 4:26
Gerry, what are you going to be drinking today?

Rocki Howard, The Mom Project 4:29
Well, it was a struggle but I went and bought a gin that was recommended by Chris forge kin so I’ve got gin because I don’t usually drink gin. But then there’s a there’s another thing going on right about now that they sent me in advance a bunch of stuff so I’m including a gin with San Pellegrino Italian sparkling Drink that orange and pomegranate. I figured what the hell and it tastes it tastes good when you suck it out. Santa straw

Doesn’t everything taste good out of a Santa straw.

Right, right, right. You’re sophisticated and suave. And I am the mother of invention in and now what it’s all about today, right?

Really interesting one, Katrina, I can’t wait to hear what you think about this, right? I’m a Midwestern girl by heart. And so I probably said guys before I learned to say hi, it is so deeply embedded in my vocabulary. And I think over time, we have used the word guys as universal way of saying hello. Hey, guys, what’s up? Like, we all do it? Right? And I think we need to be sensitive to it because we need to recognize what it means. Because is that what not one of those subconscious biases that says guys is the equalizer and so we just consider this word to be the equalizer. However, I think when we think about faux pas, this is almost a socially accepted for, like, people don’t even think about it. They think about it, like, Hey, y’all, like I’m trying. I’m in the south area. And I’m trying to move guys to Hey, y’all. I don’t personally find the term of guys offensive like it has no, it doesn’t even register on my personal radar. And I feel like the only time I really hear it come up a lot is when we’re having these conversations about labels. And then we’re telling people that they shouldn’t have it. So that’s the truth. So as an equity officer, I would say like, let’s try to minimize the use of it. Right? Because that that’s what I’m supposed to do. But I think in all the labels we’re gonna talk about that one is, is probably the lowest hanging fruit of them all. Katrina what’s up? What do you think?

Unknown Speaker 8:48
Yeah, no, I You said three things that I think are really, really interesting. So I’m just building on all the smart things that you already said the first one about this idea of personal radar. So my whole thing it doesn’t register on mine either. And people expect it to register on mine. They’re like waiting for me. You know, they’re looking at me like, oh, yeah, like I’m gonna pounce and I’m, I’m a word nerd. I, I believe that words, we learned language long before we learned hurt. Before we learned fear before we learned joy, everything. We learned words, and they are deeply embedded vocabulary is deep. You know, I grew up on military bases moving constantly, I moved 13 times before I graduated. And so my language is very different. And I will make fun of Southern accents and I’m air quoting make fun because I actually have one, but I learned how to control it because I moved so much. And and I realized that my vocabulary didn’t work in certain places. And it didn’t help me fit in and it didn’t make make me you know, it didn’t create the outcome. I wanted language has outcomes. And that leads me to my last thought on this whole idea of like, to me the fact that you have a bell is progress. You I don’t expect 100% alignment. As someone who uses not who is non binary who uses they them pronouns, I don’t expect people to get my pronoun, right every single time. But if you have a bell, I’m like, amen. Amen, we’ve at least we’re directionally correct. If you have no bell, that’s where I struggle.

Rocki Howard, The Mom Project 11:38
Yeah, what’s really interesting, as we were talking about it, um, what came to mind is I am much more triggered when someone says girl or gal.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 11:53
See, that was my next question. Is

Rocki Howard, The Mom Project 11:55
it interesting?

Chris Hoyt, CXR 11:57
What Hey, ladies have been had been better or had been worse?

Gerry Crispin, CXR 12:00
Worse for me?

Rocki Howard, The Mom Project 12:02
Yeah I was gonna say, yeah, like, that would have been worse. I think the because it’s an assumption, right? Of how we identify, that we’re no longer comfortable with, I think the girl piece for me, like any version of that girl, hon. Like I, you know, again, I’m down here on the I’m in the south. And so a lot of people are like, Hey, hon, or girl, and I’m like, I ain’t your hon. I’m not your girl. I’m a grown ass woman. And I would appreciate it if you address me as such, because you don’t know me like that. Like, honestly, that is the visceral reaction that I have. Now, if I was standing with someone, and they were like, Hey, guys, how you doing? Nope. Like, a bell is really like you say, girl or gal, or some version of that. And I’m ready to pop my earrings off and fight because I think that there is a like, that’s how I feel inside. That’s my visceral

Absolutely there is a bit of condescension that I feel is tied to the way you say it. And look, I’m all about assuming positive intent. And there’s times when I’m places again, I’m going to sell so there’s times where someone’s like, Hey, hon, and I know that they mean it. Like I can see the intent. I can see the the genuineness coming out and you know, I’m like, Okay, this doesn’t bother me. But then I can see and feel be somewhere between neutral to that the not so positive intent. And so the baseline is really low and Katrina, you just hit it on. And I think that there’s another nuance here if we’re going to go there, let’s go all the way there. There. another nuance there, because it’s not you’ve had the experience from a white female perspective, right? Now you pay along being a black female. Okay. And as a black person, Gal, girl, boy, was the language used to make black people know that they were even further down the chain. Right? So so you’re even lesser than, you’re not a man, you’re a boy, you’re you’re not a woman, you’re a girl or gal. And so it probably even has a further trigger for me as a black woman. When someone says girl or gal. I’m trying to like now that I’m over 50 I think I’m trying to convince myself that it’s a compliment.

This is 50. Right? This is not this is not ideal, right?

Chris Hoyt, CXR 16:10
That’s interesting. I would have thought there would have been an element there. And I was trying to ask earlier of, like intimacy, like a level of like this assumed begging like a Hey, girl is kind of like a I don’t know, like, like, you don’t know me. Like you’re not close enough to me to say, Hey, girl, or Hey, guy, but But you but when you were talking that through, I was like, Well, hey, girl, to me is not the same as Hey, boy. Like, I would not respond well to Hey, boy. Yeah, right. So I mean, it’s got to be and as a white male, it’s got to be exponentially more frustrating or offensive or bothersome. Right. For both of you.

Rocki Howard, The Mom Project 16:52
I think what’s interesting, Katrina, go ahead.

Katrina Kibben, Three Ears Media 16:55
No, you know what, I was just thinking though, if, if rocky you and I have a feeling we’re gonna be friends after this, right? If I saw you and we were walking into a conference, I’d be like, Hey, girl, hey, girl. Hey, no question. No question. If I saw a friend of mine come in, and like, no question asked, because we have a relationship. Now. I do think that there’s intimacy and history that play into all labels.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 17:52
So I’ll share it. It’s kind of a silly comparison, but I’ll share it. So my partner and I were talking the other day, and I walked in, I was like, Hey, girl, she’s like, Hey, boy. And I was like, Oh, like that, that doesn’t work. For me. She’s like, I don’t know what the problem with that is.

Katrina Kibben, Three Ears Media 18:05
Like you pointed out, we all have bells, right? And like, for me, that came out through my identity. So as someone who’s non binary, right, when someone said girl, to me, I felt friction. The way I describe it to people when I present is have you ever put your right foot and your left shoe? And you know that feeling of like, That ain’t right. That wasn’t right. That’s the feeling you had when she when your partner called you, boy, it’s the same feeling that I have when people are when people say girl or she. And I think that labels enough, right? That’s, that’s what happens is the sensation of putting your foot in the wrong shoe and it just feels wrong.

Rocki Howard, The Mom Project 18:48
Is their Katrina and I want to ask you this question, Chris, if you don’t mind, because I think there’s something here. When we think about not just the label, but the language and how we communicate, we communicate wholly we communicate through tone of voice, we communicate through I communicate through body language. And I think that that’s an added intent. Because when Raymond is like, Hey, girl, I’m like, Oh, hey, you know, like, it’s a different. I would never to your point be like, Ooh, hey, boy, hey, like, No, I would not do that. But there is an intent behind it. There’s a feeling there’s a warm up. It’s almost visceral. So I think it’s, it’s, it’s the label, it’s the language, but it’s how it’s all framed and communicated. That it comes together in terms of how that label is received. And I think we have to think about something when we think about communication, if you really look at communication principles, and I got the expert over here, so I’m going to go back to Katrina, but there’s two parts to communication. It’s what you said and how it’s received. And in and a lot of our challenges is in that in between.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 20:59
I suspect, you get a little bit of a pass from the receiver unless they’re a raging asshole. Right? It’s the you have to know your audience. And so I suspect when somebody who is in their 70s versus in their 30s uses a language that is being quite honestly terms of being phased out, right? Or evolved. I would imagine you get a little bit of past. Have You Ever Have you ever been corrected?

Gerry Crispin, CXR 21:23
Me? Yeah.

Rocki Howard, The Mom Project 22:33
You know, that I, you know, very seldom my life have I come across those haters a few. But But fundamentally, I can, I can find a way to to put them away. I don’t have I have control over that part of that privilege issue. So I can find a way to do that. But that also means that I miss the experiences that that some folks have, where where they don’t have that, that capability. And so I need to learn from from them, so that I can be a better ally, when they have those experiences with people that they can avoid.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 26:06
I mean, you you Okay, I gotta ask, how long does it take you? This is 30 years ago? How long at that point in your own personal growth? Does it take the wheels to turn to go? I feel like I should say something. I feel like I should have. How am I going to say this? But what is it five seconds? Is it a minute, we like Please don’t go.

Rocki Howard, The Mom Project 26:27
It was probably like, oh, we were sitting down. Like I was nursing. The big thing. This was this. Like, again, there’s nothing else to do in Fort Wayne. Like probably the fourth or fifth time. She said me negro, I just like, Okay, can I just tell you something? Because I like you. Right? I have to tell you this. You don’t call us negros anymore. be saying this word. And here’s why I’m telling you this, because you’re gonna say it to someone and they’re going to be offended. And you’re too sweet. I know, you’re not trying to offend anyone. And honestly, like you’re in the mall by yourself. I don’t want anybody to hurt you. Like I was just very honest. But again, I made sure to like, kind of put my hand on her shoulder and have a big smile on my face. And go like, I’m telling you this out of love. So just to she’s, what do they call you all now?

Chris Hoyt, CXR 27:24
Like, see people they call us people.

Rocki Howard, The Mom Project 29:50
North Carolina shotgun when I pulled up to ask for direction 30 seconds to get out of here. Okay. I wasn’t challenging.

Very hard. I was in. I hitchhiked to Florida.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 30:37
And a month ago, it did it a month ago.

Katrina Kibben, Three Ears Media 33:56
I know for me, I find moments where they say hello, sir. And I’m like, Just lock your lips. Don’t say a word. Because frankly, I know I will be treated better.

Rocki Howard, The Mom Project 44:10
I’m absolutely in support of that from a white dude point of view I need I need in order to be an ally I need to know that you are unreservedly who you are. I need to know that you give a shit about being. Being out being being black, which being disabled, being whatever that I can support. It’s hard for me to be supportive. When you are when you are not doing who you are. And I get that and I I listened to some you know of these podcasts where we’re someone saying who’s black, for example, who’s saying I’m just tired of talking to white people about what my story is, and I’m going, you know what I need I need for you to continue to do that. I need a commitment from you to make a mission of telling your story, because fundamentally, that, that empowers me to be helpful. When you when you fail, or when you don’t step up, is when I struggle to be able to be your defender, I shouldn’t be your defender I should be. I should be the supporter of your, of your defense, if you will. And so fundamentally, you know, I can’t be the person who creates the path, you’re making the path, I just need to be able to follow behind you and make sure the assholes don’t you know, don’t keep going. So

Katrina Kibben, Three Ears Media 44:11
Yes. And I think if you come into this space, and you say, I want to be a speaker, don’t do it. Because speakers just have a methodology and present their methodology, right. Like, and I’ve been thinking about this a lot. And Gerry, you and I feel like we’ve been on this journey together. Because I’ve been doing this for almost 10 years now. And I’ve known you the whole time. And I wanted to be a speaker when I started. And now I want to be a teacher, I go into every conversation with my story, and I will hold it right there for you. And I’ll tell you the hard parts. And I’ll walk through it again. And I will say out loud to everyone. I do think it’s hard. Like I have said that before. And I also say and I am willing, because nothing changes without the story. It doesn’t. And what I think of this lyric, that’s what good as light if we don’t let it in. Right. So light in a box. You don’t it’s you don’t even know there’s light in there. It’s like a tree in a forest.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 46:57
So, so Katrina, I don’t know if Chris has sent you the link to the woman who has a PhD in what was that?

Katrina Kibben, Three Ears Media 49:06
And you just hit on the word normal, right? You know, cause me parents, parents of queer kids call me? It is not I very rarely get contacted by queer people in HR.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 49:19
How exactly how exactly does that go?

Rocki Howard, The Mom Project 50:50
My granddaughter about a month ago, told her mother she said, You know, I have no idea about sex, I don’t even know when I will have sex. I have no idea about any of these kinds of things. But I just think, from my perspective, I want to be considered they. And so I you know, I’ve been reading this stuff, and I’m going to do you know, they and then whatever. And so she’s doing that and, and, and unloading you it’s just, it’s great. It’s it is a fabulous way to be able to say, you know, I’m on considering what I am.

But isn’t that so critical? Like when I think about this from the lens of being a mother, right? And I’ve had to grow and evolve with the language or use, but I remember having this conversation now think, again, think historically, my husband was born in 1960. Right, different Genet like a word generation apart, literally. And so his life experience and raised, you know, Southern Baptist Church, dad was a min Deacon, like this is I, they put a big scarlet letter when I showed up with this little baby out of wedlock with him like that’s the vibe right. And I remember sitting him down, like once we got to four, and saying, you realize that two statistics say somebody here is not going to be heterosexual. And so I want to talk to you about this now, to make sure that we are aligned with how we think about this, right? Because I need us to introduce this language really early. Like, I don’t need anybody hiding in closets, that is too much stress, there’s too much shit to deal with out in the world, mainly to know within these walls, they’re safe. Now, I may not always get the language, right. And it’s evolved, right. And I do have a daughter that’s queer. I have a daughter that I believe is asexual, I have another daughter who doesn’t plan on telling me what her sex life is. Right? I got it. Like, it’s a very interesting dynamic. I don’t know what was in the water. But one of the things that we all said to our kids was, I don’t really care who you sleep with, I don’t give a shit who you love. They need to treat you right. And for the purposes of sex education, and who can spend the night in their bedroom, I just need to know how you identify. Otherwise, I don’t give a shit. I just need to know if John can’t spend the night or Susie can’t spend the night because that ain’t happening in our house. But other than that, we don’t really give a shit. Now I say that to say this, because we started talking about labels and language. Just think about if everyone could start to have that language in their house, here are your choices you can choose. Right? If you’re in my house, like we don’t like Yeah, I can’t hide the fact that I’m black. But if I pick this up and took you to my son’s room that’s over there, you would see the consortium of kids that are there. Now there is the crew is Xavier, who runs around looking like his mother with dreadlocks is what he looks like. And then there’s Dom who is his very best friend, my love son, his mother, this families actually spend holidays together, who is the whitest, white ginger head boy. Then there’s Andrew, who’s Hispanic. And then there’s a whole crew of them. And none of them think anything about it, because that’s how we raised them all. Like going back to these labels in this language. We’ve got to start to find a way to shift and change the inputs. We’re giving this next generation from the very start. So output.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 54:43
I actually think Rocki, it’s it’s actually being pushed up. I think each generation and we have a responsibility as parents to fit like I did. I did something very similar with my kids, but I feel like I learned probably more from my kids about that than I did from my Parents?

Gerry Crispin, CXR 55:01
I would agree. I agree.

Katrina Kibben, Three Ears Media 55:04
We’re making new bells to bring it back to the beginning, right? The Okay, reprogramming the chip. And even the idea that there’s a spectrum, right? I tell people, no spectrum implies two ends. And I’m not playing a two ended game. This is not binary. Gender is a playground. And the only expectation I have of the playground is that it will change. I don’t want to go to some old janky playground where there’s only two things. Okay. I want to go on playground. Yes. And that’s, I think that’s the that’s where we start, right? We tell our kids, I don’t know, it’s not boys or girls, it’s, who do you want to have sex with? They’re not allowed your room,

Rocki Howard, The Mom Project 56:01
I want to know who loves you and who you love. Yes, that’s, that’s it? You know, it’s it is in the long run, you know, we’re on this earth for a short time. And so fundamentally, I think that’s, that’s the only thing that adds value to us as individuals is who we love and who loves us. And is that okay for you? And if it is, then I’m fully embrace, embracing that. And that’s my job is to embrace. What what, you know who we are. And I think,

Katrina Kibben, Three Ears Media 56:44
Yeah, it’s like, embrace and keep the door open for anything to change.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 56:49
God. Yes. Without a doubt. It does change. We get that

Chris Hoyt, CXR 56:54
healthy heart.

Well, okay, so really quick. We got to, we need to recap our drinks. Not our I saw a couple of us. Not all of us, but I’m not judging. Couple of US poured some refills. So again, I’m gonna go, I’m gonna go and I’ll go and reverse Brady Bunch order. Gerry. Yes. How was your Santa straw drink?

Rocki Howard, The Mom Project 57:43
Chris, I know you’re the third.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 57:47
Jerry sorry, Rocki, sorry.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 57:56
And two other people? You that I care about? You know, I care about you. But definitely, I was not referring to one of those two or not. It was definitely two those two, give me a shift. Give me a break.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 58:17
I think it makes a difference in a straw. That’s all I’m saying. All right. So. All right, Katrina, how was your drink?

Katrina Kibben, Three Ears Media 58:27
Great. I mean, you you heard the mother of invention espresso kick in, because I’m pretty sure all of you just got my version of preaching. So yeah, standard standard Katrina. Energy, which I’ve jokingly called puppy energy at this point. So I’m good. Pretty good.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 58:41
You got the verbal zoomies how about that.

Rocki Howard, The Mom Project 58:50
Yes. Good. I think I’m going to officially name the drink Uncorked. That’s what I think I’m gonna call it. We’re gonna call it Uncorked.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 58:59
How about you, Chris?

Rocki Howard, The Mom Project 59:08
Yeah. And you thought you were going to get this done in 40 minutes.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 59:12
I was like, we’ll wrap this up in like 40 It’ll be fine.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 59:21
was he was smoking the wrong thing? And I told him that this afternoon I said, you want to do this in 35 minutes? So he goes yeah, because that’s that’s the attention span of most people. And I go I don’t give a shit about the attention span of most people. It’s it’s going to be a conversation that’s going to end when it ends.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 59:43
You guys know I don’t smoke. I’m much more about the candies. It’s fine. Well, look, I love all Three of you. And I want to thank you so much for giving us a little bit of time this afternoon. You guys are amazing. And we love you. And you know if ever we can help or be a megaphone or trombone or whatever we need to be. Let us know.

Rocki Howard, The Mom Project 1:00:05
Well, I have just got to tell you Katrina Yeah, but you’re stuck with me mad love to you. Gerry. Chris, you already know I love you. Barb’s in the background. Barb, I love you, too. Thank you all for showing up and just being you.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 1:00:19
She’s in the back trying to figure out how the hell am I going to edit this to 40 minutes.

Katrina Kibben, Three Ears Media 1:00:25
Good luck. That’s not

Chris Hoyt, CXR 1:00:54
Nobody canceled. Jerry.

Rocki Howard, The Mom Project 1:00:56
It’s a big I think I think the script is extraordinary. And I, I think we need at from an ally point of view we need we need to really kind of deconstruct some of these issues in a way that that helps people understand how they personally should be thinking about issues related DE&I, etc. And it’s just not it’s not happening as fast as we would like. But I think we could push the edge of this if we make some efforts.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 1:01:33
So I would just applaud anybody who makes the the corrections. So just implore them, no matter what side of the equation they’re on, just please be very careful when you make those those corrections.

Katrina Kibben, Three Ears Media 1:01:43
And I really appreciate that this was not the gay hour, I usually walk into conversations about labels, and everyone is queer, right? Or everyone is that this one dimension? And I think that there’s just a lot having this group of people, right, people who are parents, people who are black people who are queer people who aren’t right, like, and all these different pieces, I think it just made for a really interesting academic conversation about our programming.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 1:02:43
Ah Fuck’em.

Announcer 1:02:59
Thanks for joining us for another episode of CareerXroads Uncorked Chris Hoyt and Gerry Crispin look forward to sharing more drinks and conversation with you next time. Until then, cheers.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 1:03
Hello, everybody.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 1:06
All right, we have two of our favorite people in the space on we they have recommended well, they actually recommended a drink. And I think we just ended up all of us consistently one element of that drink one ingredient. So we’re going to talk about that too. But first, let’s do introductions. I’m going to ask for an escalator pitch from each of you. And I’m just going to start in the order that it’s on my Brady Bunch monitor here. So first, Rocky, can you tell everybody who you are, what you do, and what your drink is gonna be today?

Rocki Howard, The Mom Project 1:32
Yes, so hi, everybody. My name is Rocki Howard. I am the chief people and equity officer at The Mom Project. We advocate and we place moms with companies who really want to figure out how to solve this problem about how moms come back into the workforce. And we’re on a mission to create $3 billion worth of economic opportunity for mom in the next two years. I’m the host of the Voices of Diversity podcast, and I identify as she / her / black /Christian / GenX / wife, mom. Now I have created my own gin drink today. This is called the mother of invention. This is what happened. I love gin and sprite. I then this afternoon went downstairs to get the gin and there was no gin there. So I send my husband out to get gin. He then comes back I think go into the pantry to get sprite there is no Sprite. He’s like Screw you. I’m not going back to the store. So this and it tastes really good is gin, peach schnapps and then watermelon flavored sparkling water and it tastes so good. I

Chris Hoyt, CXR 5:11
Yeah, everything. Everything must taste good. Okay, so I also not a gin drinker. So this will be really interesting. And I am going to make a hanky panky is the name of my drink. And it is what is in this so I have some vermouth, some fernet Branca, and of course, gin. And I’m just gonna make it while we talk about AI. It’s supposed to be sophisticated and intriguing. So I’m very excited about it. That’s all I know. I’ve never had one. It looked like a Manhattan. So I was like, fuck it.

Katrina Kibben, Three Ears Media 5:50
Yeah. All right. At least you have all of your ingredients unlike rocky six.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 6:10
Wait about the third one, I’m probably gonna pour the ingredients in the keyboard. So okay, when we so the topic we talked about throwing together is labels. Right. And in the in the spirit of full transparency, Rocki, this is I think your third time with us. And the theme of intent versus impact. Constantly floats to the top. And I love that message. So in the spirit of intent, and and unintended or intended impact. Somebody when we got ready to kick this off, I said, Are you guys ready? And I didn’t I didn’t even think about I just said, Are you guys ready? How big of a faux pas is that now? Because sometimes I catch myself sometimes I don’t come big of a deal. Is that? Is it kind of like him and his privilege? He just doesn’t know? Or is that kind of a? You know, we’re just going to give some people some time to get over it. Does anybody care? Is it really that big a deal.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 10:31
That’s interesting. But you’re also saying that the both of you are saying to some degree, you have no bell when people say, Guy and reflect on a group. And so what it suggests is that it’s so embedded that language is so embedded, that it’s already kind of altered your mind to accept it, versus, you know, the sensitivity that we should all have, where almost anything should ring a bell, it may have different priorities. But fundamentally, I like the idea that it should ring a bell. So I get that, I may have said that. And it’s part of who I am and how I’ve been at it, and no one seems to take offense, but I should be aware of it. And to some degree, think about how over time, I might be able to train myself to to be more to be more gender neutral, in relation to my language, because at some point, that may become more of a priority.

So you can work and live with. You can live with guys, but you can’t live. If I said guys and gals. That would be less.

Rocki Howard, The Mom Project 13:15
That’s interesting.

Katrina Kibben, Three Ears Media 13:16
Oh, you know what I think it is. And this is someone who has experienced the privilege and the in the life experience of both now, in a way, right. So I over the last year, I I’m going to tell all of you something that everyone else will read tomorrow, I have been taking testosterone, and my body has changed, how I look how I sound things have changed. And I have experienced the privilege of being both a white man and a white woman walking through this world. And you know what? I think it is Rocki. And please tell me if it’s this, isn’t it. But I think somewhere inside of you. We have been told that women are less than men, or we have at least we have not been told explicitly, but we’ve seen it play out 100 times. And the second you approach a group and you say, Oh, hey, ladies, it’s got it. We went like this. Instead of we were all here. And right store, if it’s not you everything,

Like, when you get IDs, and you’re like, What, you don’t get this wrinkle without over 21 This is not a 21 year old wrinkle. It’s not right.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 17:23

Rocki Howard, The Mom Project 17:24
I agreed with you. Like I was just going to go there. So I’ll just plus one, you, you know, I do it all the time for people that I have that kind of vibe with where I’m like, Hey, girl, hey. And if someone’s like, Hey, girl, hey, even if they’re new, like, if I’m in Sephora, and someone’s like, Oh, I like your makeup. Hey, girl. Hey, like there’s that’s different. Right? So to your point, there’s a, there’s a time and place that makes it feel but yeah, you’re spot on.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 20:07
Yeah, I’d agree. I like that I like the way of, of parsing that to think about the fact that if you really want to be an ally, you’re going to try to be much more transparent and say, say what you see, say how you feel, say how you whatever, and you’re going to make mistakes, especially if you’re no white dude, that’s that that transcends, you know, 5060 years. There’s, there’s embedded language in my in my background, that fundamentally is going to be mis mistaken. I get that my intent is positive to be an ally. But it also means that the person who’s receiving it gets my intent. Buthard, it’s on that. That’s an interesting issue.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 21:26
Nobody corrects the Godfather

Gerry Crispin, CXR 21:27
No, no, no, no, I, I asked for and get really good, excellent feedback from people that I’m on network with. But I, as part of my privilege, I only surround myself with people that I care about. So I ignore a huge group of people that fundamentally would not would not come to would not be comfortable with me, or I would be comfortable with them. And therefore, because I can do that. I don’t experience a lot of those issues. And therefore, you know, I’m somewhat naive. Because I focus in on the group that I I care about. I don’t know if that makes sense to you. But the reality is, I don’t I don’t, I don’t walk in places where I’m going to have a problem.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 22:29
Gerry, what I hear you saying is you don’t have any haters hanging around.

Katrina Kibben, Three Ears Media 23:19

Rocki Howard, The Mom Project 23:20
To that, though, that Katrina talked earlier when she did her, her introduction about the humaneness of it. All right. Yeah. And, Chris, when you were talking about that this story comes to mind, can I tell a story, they tell a story. So I lived in Fort Wayne, Indiana for about six months. If anyone’s listening from Fort Wayne, my apologies. But it isn’t my cup of tea. But one of the experiences that I had, and I think this is again about language and intent. And you and I’m going to bring this back to bigger points. So let me hold the point for a minute. So I’m in the mall, because they’re aint shit to do in Fort Wayne, Indiana, but go to the mall, right? So I’m a brand new mother for context. I am 21 years old, I just had my first child, you know, I am bored out of my mind. It’s the first time I haven’t worked. And so I’m going to go to the mall. And I’m going to walk her around because like, what else is there to do? Right? And so I’m sitting kind of in the food court with my cute little baby. And this baby is now 31. So this gives you a little bit of context. I sit next to someone, and we’re all people, people. So I can guarantee we’re all the kind of people that if we sit down next to someone, a conversation is going to happen. So I’m sitting next to a white woman who if I had to guess was probably in her 80s and, and we’re chatting and she’s just like, That is the cutest little Negro baby I have ever seen in my whole wife. She is so adorable. And she’s so sweet. And you know what, let me just tell you something, sweetie. When I Little girl, I used to tell my mother that what I wanted more than anything was a little Negro baby. On and on and on. This is what I kind of mean about. There’s a responsibility, I think on both sides. And we haven’t talked about this. And then this is the point I want to make, right? She didn’t have an impact on me, because I could clearly see there was no mal intent, right? She, this was the language that she grew up with, she would have never known anything else. And so as I’m sitting there looking at this very sweet old lady who’s like hugging me and got her baby, you know that there’s no mal intent. And and so now though, I’m kind of scared for her because I’m like, if she says this to the wrong person. That’s right. Get in the mall, and somebody who’s not taller like me is this again, she’s gonna say this is a woman out. So I need to say something, right?

Katrina Kibben, Three Ears Media 27:28
Because what happens next is a security issue. And that’s the part that we can all giggle about right now, because nothing bad happened. But as someone who’s been in a situation where someone misgendered me and it turned into a bouncer throwing me on the ground, or it turned into someone ripping me out of a bathroom, or moments like that. The what happens next when when you say you shouldn’t say that what happens in their brain is the issue. That’s the trigger point that most of us do not have the privilege to walk up on and be like, here we are. And I use the word privilege lightly. Because if you’re even in the situation you are lacking of. But it’s that moment where that person assumes that everyone got the same chip. We talked about the vocabulary chip, like all of us have one and it’s custom and programmed to you. Right, Gerry, you have a chip, Chris has a chip. Rocky has a chip. What’s dangerous is when you go everybody got my chip, why don’t you like my word I, we all can say that. I say what I want and and then we remove accountability and responsibility. And those are two different things. Okay, accountability, how do I account for myself? My chip is not perfect. Responsibility is where it gets dangerous. And where trans people get murdered, is when we have a response issue. How do we respond to each other? And I’m in that scenario where example I’m sitting next to an evangelical preacher, he thinks I’m a nice young man, and he’s lecturing me and lecturing me and finally I’m like, Nah, and you watch his brain explode. And then he starts to explain to me that I don’t know God and like, it gets tense. And I backstory, I grew up in a Catholic church, so I can recite the Bible. And we can play here. This is my playground. I never thought that dropping Bible verses would be like a flex at any point in my life, but I was like, anyone who knows love knows God. Do you know where that is that guy and watching his face, but God bless we were on a plane. I was safe. I could challenge I can’t challenge in that bar in rural Texas. I can’t challenge in that bar when I’m in a road stop in a truck stop. And someone asks me, What are you doing here? When I’m standing in line for the bathroom?

Chris Hoyt, CXR 30:02
You’ve got to pick you’ve got to pick when you want to throw down. Or even even the most pleasant of corrections.

Rocki Howard, The Mom Project 30:07
Yeah, North Carolina, West Virginia. I got lost. And when when I go in to ask for directions, and she’s like, Yeah, you got about 30 seconds don’t give a shit whether you’re rushing about 30 seconds you get out of here and you know what, there’s a part of you that really wants to, to your point, stand your ground and go, No. And then you know what I think about my husband and my four kids, and I hurry my ass back out to my car and I go

Gerry Crispin, CXR 30:39
1960-66 in February, or January, actually, because we were off to see a girl in Florida. And I hitchhiked and found a person in the Carolinas who was going to Atlanta. I said, Fine, I’ll take it. We were through. We’re going through a rural area of Georgia. And it snowed, it was like a blizzard. And the car in front of us swerved around, we hit it. As it swerved around we hit it actually head on. I was knocked out. And when I when I woke up, I had glass in my nose from the rearview mirror. And a sheriff who leaned into the car and said, I think we got some northern boys here. That is the only time in my life where from a legal point of view, I was very uncomfortable. And I was in jail free for a day. They let me

Chris Hoyt, CXR 30:39
In in a car accident.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 30:57
In the car accident. I was in jail for a day, there was only two buildings in the town. One was the jail and the other was the the automobile fixer place. And the guy that had drove me basically, he was there for about a week because the circuit court judge did not get there for a week. And he was not willing to pay to pay the sheriff’s brother in law to have his car fully fixed at the place

Chris Hoyt, CXR 32:40
Are you sure this wasn’t a Michael J. Fox movie?

Gerry Crispin, CXR 32:42
No, no, this was not this was a real thing that I encountered. It was probably the only time that I that I had that kind of experience. It was it was not a good one, believe me. But But I get, I get the fact that when you’re in that, that if that moment, you’re you know, you could step up and say something that might not be really good for you long term. And keep in mind 1965 is not a good time for each for white people or black people in in the rural south. So, so fundamentally, it was really an interesting experience. And definitely I cooled my roll at that moment.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 33:29
I suspect a lot of people underestimate the intensity of of offering a correction. Yeah, and the situation situation ality that’d be this is my this is my own vocabulary chip kicking in, but like that, right? The very, very having to be very aware of the situation, before you offer any feedback or before you just, you know, do one ad and you’re out of there.

Huh? Yeah, there’s a couple things to unpack there. That’s that’s that’s different. Yeah. Yeah.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 34:16
One other story, I really would like to share that that relates to to labeling. But I remember from a peak experience, and this was actually earlier it was in the early 1960s. I was in high school. And I came home and I was in I actually remember vividly because it was such a peak experience. But I remember being with my mother who’s who came back from school, she was making dinner and and the radio was on and the radio talked about a rating a a homosexual bar and it from the perspective spective of 1963, this was, you know it, they were going after people who were doing illegal things. And lots of stuff was going on. And obviously, it was very negative. And I remember, because I was only about six to 1516 years old. From a sexual identity point of view, I probably was very immature in relation to all of those kinds of things, I made some very strong comments in support of what the person on the radio was saying. And my mother turned to me. And she said, you know, your comments, say a lot more about you than they do about the people that you just described. And for me, it was like an awakening of Oh, my God, there’s something subconscious in who we are, that I’ve never explored, you know, I’ve just reacted. And it was a self awareness, I believe that I became In reflection, because I fully understood that, that you know, how I operated and how I behave, was a combination of not only a set of programs, but a set of choices that I have, about how I think about who I am, and how I create who I am. And that was an extraordinary experience. For me, I remember it vividly. In hindsight, my mother was extraordinarily insightful. She was a sixth grade teacher. And she did not judge or anything else, she just forced, she just planted a seed that forced me to rethink why I would be that angry about someone that that didn’t do anything, you know, criminal or negative or whatever. But that it reflected on my lack of ability to understand who I was, versus anything else.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 37:19
There is a there is a I don’t want to say pass. But a level of tolerance, I think that can be afforded to the nature aspect, right, that you are taught those biases, depending on where you are raised, and the era in which you were raised in like, I think there’s an element of that. But there does come a point when we are supposed to be thinking for ourselves. Right. And that is maybe that’s Gerry, you had your your your awakening, right. But I mean, maybe that is a point. And everyone’s is probably different to where some of the behaviors inexcusable and no longer tolerable at all.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 37:59
Yeah, I am on my resume the point in which we all become accountable for ourselves. And and so that that awareness has to take place. And if it doesn’t, then fundamentally, we have to find a way to you know, to counter that you either through law, or through through influence, or through some other way.

Katrina Kibben, Three Ears Media 38:25
I was just thinking about that. And I’m confident that every one of us have a moment where you remember someone changing your mind. And it was the moment when you said something so boldly with such distinct determination, and they looked you dead in the eye, and they said, No. And we just talked about the brave moment, but we didn’t talk about the impact on the other person. And that’s why I’m telling people about my life, and why I have chosen to be out. And, and to be clear, like, I actually don’t want to be out. And I know that sounds weird, okay, but I am the most senior non binary person I’ve ever met. I am by all terms, and I don’t I don’t mean this to sound cocky. I’m the most successful non binary person I’ve ever met. I have so much privilege. I am my own boss, we jokingly said before we hit record, I fire me, I fire me, right. And I decided to live quietly. And the reason why I decided to speak out was because of a moment where I realized how much privilege I had just a couple weeks ago where I went to the doctor and they did not prescribe my medicine correctly. They didn’t give me the correct stuff. And I could have killed myself. If I had if I had continued and that’s a severe consequence of not correction of not speaking up, right. And I read something the other day and this is it came to mind when you said it, you know, they said I have failed in my life, but I’ve never failed enough. And I think when it comes to understanding people, that’s the level, I will always I will say 1,000%, I’m willing to fail a million times, because my only understanding of people is that they shall change. That’s my only the only choice.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 40:11
That’s great

Rocki Howard, The Mom Project 40:11
I love that. What I think it’s such an important thing that you just said. And it ties into what Gerry said. And Chris, what you were pointing us to. We all make decisions along the way. And some of those decisions are big steps. And some of them are small steps. You guys know, I fundamentally See look, I just said it, you guys, right? We all know I fundamentally believe that you change this diversity narrative, one story, one conversation, one action at a time. But but to Katrina’s point, like the folks over at Matheson just did the survey, right? They did the 2021 survey they surveyed like, I don’t know, 500, I think diverse candidates. And the thing that just breaks my heart when I look at the number, even though I know it, and it was multiple dimensions, adversity, even though I know it, even though I live it to look at this stat that says 50% of people know or really believe that showing up the way they are is a detriment in the hiring process in a detriment to how they show up in the world. Now, to Katrina’s point, you could make a choice to pass, right, you could go, I’m gonna be quiet about this, I don’t need to tell anybody, right? Not to compare struggles. I can’t freakin hide that I’m a black woman. There’s nothing about all of this that you can hide. I can’t pass for jack that I’m not. Right. And so the decision I have to make is then how do I show up? And at what point in time? Do I take my privilege, because to your point, I am so privileged in multiple ways that would take more than an hour to list in my privilege. But at what point in time do I go, I’m not going to sit back and play the game, I’m not going to sit back and, and and not say what needs to be saying. And to be bold about it and to be badass about it. And to be okay with the people who don’t like it. Because you know what, if it changes the narrative just a little bit, then it’s worth it. And so to your point, that decision to live out loud, that decision to talk about the things because I am raising four black children, I am married to a black man. And I have a responsibility to them. But I also have a responsibility to the people who look at me and go, Well, how she shows up might tell me how I can show up. And I remember the first time that it really, really clicked to me. I was in an office, I was actually moving to a new role. And someone came to me and it was less about color. Right? It was less about color. But it was the moment where it all really clicked to me. And someone said to me as part of goodbye. Thank you for letting me know that it was okay to show up as myself, and that I could still be successful and grow. Because let’s take us take aside the black thing. I don’t typically show up like most executives do with their nose ring and their earring and their short blonde hair, my big hoop earrings, and my loud voice and all of that. And I made a decision a long time ago, you either like it or you don’t. It’s okay. I’ll go find somebody who does. It’s cool. And I didn’t realize how just showing up and being unapologetically me impacts the people around me who looked at me and go, oh, we’ll look at that. And if she can do it, then maybe I can maybe this whole concept of me showing up is my whole self. That’s true. Because if she can do it, I can and I think when I hear people Katrina thank you for making that decision is when you make the decision you empower people that you don’t even know.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 47:08
Antonia Forster

Gerry Crispin, CXR 47:09
Oh, God, she needs to have that. If she doesn’t have that, I’ll send it over. Oh, look at that this woman blows my mind. She was she’s out of I don’t know, England or something like that. She’s a PhD that has to do with, with animals. And one of the problems that she encountered as she grew up and realize that she, she, her her interests were not the same was had was that people were saying, well, that’s that’s perverted. That’s strange. That’s unusual. That’s, that’s not normal. And she goes, and so what she does is a an hour presentation in which, in which she looks at queer behavior in animals. And I have to tell you, once you’re done with that, you go, Holy shit. Holy shit, what do you mean normal, this is normal, that we are all capable of all kinds of behaviors from a sexual as well as orientation point of view. And that, you know, we make choices along the way. We have the capacity, and we we lean one way versus the other, you know, with all of the issues that that come up, and we can have conversations and discussions. But all of this is normal. We don’t have a abnormality relative to much of this, or not only among the human species. But but when we look at what frickin animals there we go, we should go Holy shit. I never thought that.

Katrina Kibben, Three Ears Media 49:22
Yeah, they call me and they say, I need to tell you something. So typically, they call me for work. They are a VP of HR. They are someone hosting an event, the Higher Education Resource Center for colleges and hard like Harvard, you know, and then at the end they they say to me something they’ll go What can you tell me what that black purple and white flag is? Um, I saw on your bio that it says you’re non binary Are you are you I have a question. I’m dead serious. And, and the questions it makes me want to cry because they’re like, most of the time, they say Say to me, I just want to be a better parent to my child. And I don’t know, how can you help me. And the thing I tell them is that knowing who you are, is a superpower. But the world will always be freaked out by superpowers, it is not normal for someone to like, go into the phone booth and come out and blow up the windows and fly at lightning speed. Right? It is not normal for you to know who you are when you’re 13 years old, either, right. And the world will tell you that you don’t have a superpower, they’ll tell you, you’re weird, but you are actually a superhero. That’s what I tell those parents tell your kid they are a superhero. And most people spend their whole life looking. That’s how I made a whole career off of knowing who you are. Somewhere along the line we made knowing your gender, knowing your sexuality, the know, know, knowing

Chris Hoyt, CXR 55:44
You might not want to tell them the end game before you ask the first question.

Rocki Howard, The Mom Project 55:48
If it changes along the way. Just tell me it’s change. It’s yeah,

Chris Hoyt, CXR 55:54
I promise that would have been the first thing on my list is, ooh, I’m interested in something else. I better tell my parents right away.

Rocki Howard, The Mom Project 56:57
Yeah, I love that. Yeah, I love that.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 57:24
It was very good. I’ve got a nice buzz going on. And enjoyed that. But more importantly, I enjoyed the conversation with two people that I care about,

Two, That’s nice. Gerry.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 57:38
Well, three.

Katrina Kibben, Three Ears Media 58:44
Verbal zoomies I like it.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 58:46
You can steal that you can take that if you want. It’s fine. And Rocki?

I love that.

I’m feeling pretty good. It’s not it’s not my tastiest of drinks that I’ve had, but it’s getting the job done.

Rocki Howard, The Mom Project 59:15
Chris and I have never even had a 40 minute conversation Were you smoking something

Chris Hoyt, CXR 1:00:27
That’s not going to happen. Maybe maybe do one and two or something like that.

Barb Ruess, CXR 1:00:36
I’ll just edit Gerry out. And then we’ll be fine.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 1:00:39
That would be fine. I didn’t talk that much. I wouldn’t I did not talk that much.

Barb Ruess, CXR 1:00:49
Of course not. Gerry would never edit you out ever.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 1:00:53
No it’s fun.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 1:02:12
I got goose bumps.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 1:02:14
Without a doubt, it is about difference. And, and the fact of the matter is, you know, we when we we look at who’s missing, you know, disability is a missing issue in terms of that. And fundamentally, we need to we need to better educate the folks who are making hiring decisions to be much more open in terms of what they do. You know, anyway, what is

Rocki Howard, The Mom Project 1:02:44
And on that note.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 1:02:54
I love you guys, have a great evening. Thank you so much.