Q3 2021

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8 C I N E M O N T A G E F R O M C A T H Y R E P O L A , N A T I O N A L E X E C U T I V E D I R E C T O R WFH does not mean that you are accessi- ble to the employer around the clock and outside of your working hours. I f W F H r e s u l t s i n a n e r o s i o n o f working conditions, then we must act aggressively to stop that. Neither should it be allowed to create a false sense of new competition between members — those who have their own work systems versus those who don't, or those who want to work from home, and can, versus those who cannot. The potential decentralization of the work force is of concern from a union administrative perspective, but we, too, must change with the times and look for new and creative ways to continue to outreach members and ensure compli- ance with employer contracts, regardless of where their work sites happen to be. Perhaps this can become one way to pro- mote the work-life balance we have been advocating for in negotiations but have yet to achieve. I f t h e p o s t - p a n d e m i c s i t u a t i o n can create a meaningful step toward accomplishing this goal, then let's col- lectively make it work for the benefit of our members. ■ I wanted to commend CineMontage for the recent profile piece of Stevie Waichulis ("Changing Minds," Vol. 10, No. 1, Spring Q1 issue). My name is Deb Simone. I've worked in post-production for almost 30 years, including 27 in the union. I'm also a transwoman - I transitioned on the job in 2007. As I read her story, I was reminded of my own youth in the Northeast, growing up in a rapidly changing industrial town. I, too, rode dirt bikes. I bought my own when I was 11 years old with paper route money — yes, a paper route. It was heartwarming to hear of a sister in the union who had similar expe- riences. Stories like ours don't get told as often because they lack the tragic tropes that are largely seen as "trans" stories. Being trans isn't tragic. That's been my mantra for years as I've striven to create trans- and queer-themed content that celebrates our lives and experiences. For me, working in the entertainment i n d u s t r y h a s b e e n l a rge l y p o s i t i v e. Most of the time, my gender identity is a c c e p t e d , m y w o r k i s r e s p e c t e d , a n d w h e n t h i n gs re a l l y go w e l l , my creativity is rewarded. Gender transition is a difficult thing to describe. In anyone's life, there are births, deaths, marriages, divorces, and gender transition is an equally daunting challenge. Not only are there changes to one's daily routine, legal changes, and physical changes galore, but to your brain, too. For me, the way I perceived the entire world changed. It wasn't just my cloth- ing or the other external expressions of gender that were different, but literally how I saw, heard, smelled, and tasted the world, that all changed. It's only when I read stories like Ms. Waichulis' that I look back years later and see just how different my life is now. Transition was costly, both literally a n d f i g u ra t i v e l y, b u t I w o u l d n' t b e living the much happier life I am now if I hadn't come to terms — and arrived at a certain level of peace — with my identity. Thank you again for giving voice to our union sisters and brothers — and everyone in-between — who have walked a different path, and I hope to see more stories like these in the future. Deb Simone A pilot presentation loosely based on Deb Simone's experiences, "The More Things Change," streamed as part of the PrideFlix Festival in late June. Instagram: @ themorethingschange_show. Deb Simone is a picture editor. L E T T E R T O T H E E D I T O R 'Being Trans Isn't Tragic'

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