By guest writer, Nina Rose
Here at Gender Odyssey we’re happy as larks to announce Logical Alternative as our first ever Presenting Sponsor for the Gender Odyssey conferences in Los Angeles and Seattle! A Presenting Sponsor is a highly visible partner in bringing the conferences to fruition. So, without further ado…
Logical Alternative: Introductions All Around
Founded in 1992, Logical Alternative is a business consulting, IT services, website and custom application development firm that, at its core is Evelyn and Melissa Dickinson, partners and the company’s owners. “Logical Alternative strives to provide small businesses and nonprofits the same level of IT and design resources that larger businesses have access to,” explains Melissa (she/her).
Together, Melissa and Evelyn have been busily building online resources for the transgender and gender non-conforming community in Seattle. They are the website developers for the King County Transgender Resource Guide for 2017. “One of the things that struck me when I came out last year as a transgender woman,” explains Evelyn (she/her), “was that there was no online single point for the transgender community for the greater Seattle area that is kept up to date. Everything’s sort of word of mouth.” Logical Alternative seeks to change that. “I’m on a mission,” says Evelyn.
They also offered their services to Gender Odyssey and its sibling organization, Gender Diversity. “We advised them on and completely overhauled their IT infrastructure,” says Evelyn. “[We] set up and now manage their Amazon cloud resources and optimized all that goodness.” Melissa points out that one of the projects they are working on with Gender Diversity hasn’t yet been announced. “I’m not sure how much we are able to say, actually! How about this: We’re assisting in the creative and technical development of new web-based projects.”
Without the Community There Is No Gender Odyssey
The couple have a tremendous love for the Gender Odyssey conferences. “I had never been involved with the trans community,” says Evelyn, who had begun her own transition shortly before the 2016 conference. “I didn’t know what to expect. But I left [the 2016]conference ready to come out — and ready for whatever [coming out] brought. It just really sunk in with me.”
Gender Odyssey is what it is because of who attends. So, Logical Alternative is offering tickets as part of a conference scholarship. “If you want two tickets to go to the conference,” Evelyn says, “write an essay on any issues about Seattle transgender housing, give a little bio about yourself, and information about your need, and we’ll select winners to get two tickets.” Melissa says, “Many people face economic and housing challenges, and we saw this as a great opportunity to seek ideas and feedback about what we can do to change that.”
What It All Comes Down To
Evelyn hopes that her visibility as a trans business owner can inspire others.
“To be visibly trans in America is an activist statement every day of your life,” says Evelyn. “Hopefully trans people who go to this conference will see that there is a small business person who is living authentically and has been accepted by the world.”
They view the Presenting Sponsorship from Gender Odyssey with surprise. Melissa says, “We’ve never thought of our company in those terms before, in fact, we’ve never advertised or promoted ourselves.” Evelyn agrees. “Honestly, what we’re doing for them, came completely without expectation of recognition. It’s incredibly sweet.”
“I feel so strongly about helping trans kids,” says Evelyn, “because I look at those kids and I look at those parents and that could have been me; that could have been my experience if my parents were clued in. If you can inspire one person, that’s all we have in this life. When it’s all done all of the crap you own and worked for, and all the nonsense just fades and all you have left is how you made other people feel and what you did for them.”