Are we still talking about (trans) gender neutral bathrooms?

I feel compelled to share my thoughts on something that others seem to feel so strongly about. They must, because it’s all I’ve seen posted on social media the last few days.

I get it. It’s confusing, maybe even a little or a lot uncomfortable for some. Maybe it makes you uneasy. Maybe you don’t understand. Maybe you don’t like change. Maybe the way people live their everyday lives bothers you. Maybe you wish you could change them.

Maybe you’re scared of something you haven’t considered to ever be a norm in society…something that’s different from you or anything you’ve ever known. Maybe your religion tells you it’s wrong. Maybe your mind is clouded with assumptions, so it can’t escape the judgments that go along with that. Maybe you’re freaking out because you realize that the world gets less “cookie cutter” every day.

Maybe you aren’t sure how to handle situations you weren’t prepared for. Maybe, just maybe, you’re worried about how the world is transitioning unlike ever before and what that means for you and what you stand for. I get that it can be hard for some to open their heart and mind to something that is new to them. I get how it’s difficult to understand something that you have never had to deal with or worry about, because it has never directly affected you.

I don’t get however, why some people still believe they get to be in control of other people’s lives and how they live them.

That being said, I’m surprised by the amount of ignorance, negativity, and anger that has appeared online recently. Everyone is entitled an opinion, so let me share mine. Let me start by saying that it seems to me that when we take one step forward in this country, we end up taking two steps back. We can’t seem to get along and God forbid, we agree on anything, ever. I don’t know why we assume that fighting or blasting opinions on Facebook will solve all of the world’s problems. If it hasn’t already, I don’t think it ever will.

Target is the most recent company to react to the current debate about the transgender community and gender neutral bathrooms.  It has sparked a ton of controversy, some of which needs to be talked about. I hear complaints, as well as hateful and/or uneducated opinions all over the internet about how the transgender community should or shouldn’t be treated, how their lives should be discounted, how their well-being is unimportant in comparison to the rest of the country whom considers themselves to be “normal”.

I keep hearing talk about how allowing a person who identifies with a different gender than the one they were born as, isn’t okay. I keep hearing that they were born that way, so that’s who they are, that’s the bathroom they should identify with as well. Why is there so much conversation about who goes to the bathroom where?

Do people not know what transgender means? It’s refers to people whose gender identity differs from the sex the doctor marked on their birth certificate. Gender identity is a person’s internal, personal sense of being a man or a woman. Whether you believe it or not, people don’t just wake up one morning and decide it would be fun to be the opposite gender…that it would be cool to have boobs or a dick. It’s a lot more complicated than that. These human beings often live in pain and in fear of who they are and whom they wish to be. They are faced with the struggle of figuring out who they are and how they can be their true selves both inside and out.

Transgender men and women seek to become on the outside what they already are on the inside, whether that be male or female. It’s likely that we have all been in a bathroom with a trans person many times before, without even knowing it, and now people want to argue about it. In my 22 years, I have yet to see another person’s genitals while in a public restroom, and it’s unlikely that’ll change by allowing the transgender community to go to the restroom they most closely identify with.

I haven’t hear one good reason as to why a trans person shouldn’t be allowed to go into the public bathroom stall they feel most comfortable in, do their business, and continue on with their day. They seem to mind their own business, so why can’t everyone else? Public restrooms aren’t a place that we go to hangout in, to have long, drawn out conversations with strangers who are in the stall next to us. We walk in, pick a stall, wash our hands, and walk back out the door. It seems to me that it would be more uncomfortable for everyone, if a male who identifies as a female (who has female features and dresses like a woman) walked into a men’s restroom, or vice versa.

For those who say they are worried about pedophiles, their children’s safety, and people abusing gender neutral restrooms because of a business’s decision to spread equality, please stop. If a pervert chooses to go into a bathroom with bad intentions, they were going to do it before this ruling, and they’ll do it after. This isn’t opening doors for them or giving them a right to do anything. The world can be a sick place, and it has sick people, but please don’t make the mistake of interpreting true trans people to be the problem. They aren’t, and they never will be. They don’t need your acceptance or your approval to be themselves, just like you don’t need theirs. Transgender people aren’t infringing upon your privacy, and if you feel threatened, don’t use public restrooms.

Discrimination, hate, and anger towards people who live their lives differently than us, needs to stop. It is not the end of the world if we let the LGBT community live the lives they wish to. You live yours. I’ll live mine. They’ll live theirs. We only have control over how we live our own lives, no one else’s. We’re not all the same. We never will be. We have different opinions. We have different beliefs. We live different lives. But we should all do one thing the same, and that is respect.

We have bigger things to worry about than which stall people who identify as transgender go to when they need to use a bathroom in public. Target announced that its transgender employees and customers are “welcome” to use the bathroom or fitting room facility that best aligns with their gender identity and I think it’s great.

I didn’t know it was possible to love Target any more than I already did. I guess I was wrong.

That’s all. Thank you.



Future of my Blog

Over the semester, I have really enjoyed blogging. I have wanted to start a blog for a long time, and this semester forced me to finally do so.  I see a lot of potential for my blog, “Dear Shelby”. I plan on using it to hopefully help and inform others about different things such as; fashion, cooking, baking, dogs, and just life advice on things that I have and will go through.

I can’t say whether or non my blog will help me to obtain a job, but it definitely can’t hurt. I enjoy writing, and I think I have at least a little way with words, and if that can help someone else some how then my job has been done. I think that future employers will see from my blog that I have passions that can connect to different jobs I may potentially apply to, and that may set me apart from someone else.

Keep posted.

There’s more to come.




Property of WordPress (2015).




Social Media Through the Eyes of a Millennial

Social media has become a necessity in todays’ world. If you don’t involve yourself on social media platforms across the internet, you typically tend to be; the misfit, tech-challenged, and definitely a black sheep. Whether it be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr, Pinterest, Vine, or even LinkedIn, you are expected to keep track of your media use on these sites, to stay updated, and mostly, involved.

Social media takes up a good amount of my time. I tend to check social media when I wake up, when I have free time between class and work, and before I go to bed at night, if not more often than that. I consider myself to be very involved when it comes to how often I use and engage in online social media platforms.

“You typically tend to be; the misfit, tech-challenged, and definitely a black sheep.”

I most often take part in social media on my cell phone, compared to my laptop, which surprisingly enough, isn’t the norm. According to Nielson, Younger Millennials (such as myself) access social media sites more on their laptops than mobile devices, while Older Millennials log in more on mobile apps. They found that, regardless of device, both groups of millennials are checking in socially between 20 and 21 hours each month. (Nielson, 2015)

The social media platforms I use most frequently include; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest (but I shouldn’t say I “connect” with people on there) in the last few months, my presence on LinkedIn has been high as well.

I mostly use social media to stay connected with people in my life, to stay updated on what’s going on with them. I also use social media as the main way to receive news, read blogs and articles I find interesting to me, and to network with a range of people.

The way I use social media seems to be pretty typical of other millennials my age. Typically, people my age, use all of the same platform as me, if not more. They find news, entertainment, or just connect with friends. According to a survey done by the American Press Institute, the most common motivations for turning to Facebook, are social. 76 percent of these Facebook Millennials cite seeing what their friends are talking about and what’s happening in their friends’ lives, as a main reason they turn to Facebook. A clear majority (58 percent) cite using Facebook to find things that entertain them, such as funny lists, articles, or videos (2015).

“Many of my friends also use Snapchat and Vine, for example, which I do not. I don’t see the importance in it, and really, I just don’t need any more social media outlets to take up my time.”

This relates to me, however, many of my friends also use Snapchat and Vine, for example, which I do not. I don’t see the importance in it, and really, I just don’t need any more social media outlets to take up my time. Tech Crunch found that, Snapchat is now the third most popular social app among millennials.” Snapchat has 32.9% penetration on these young users’ mobile phones, trailing only Instagram (43.1%) and Facebook (75.6%) (Tech Crunch, 2015). This doesn’t surprise me, but it does show how quickly social media can obtain users and a loyal following.

According to the data done by Venture capital firm Battery Ventures and market-research company Ipsos , millennial women are more likely to skip signing up for Snapchat and Twitter, while millennial men are more likely to forgo Facebook and Pinterest (Walgrove, 2015). This data makes sense when thinking about it, but I never really considered the gender difference in social media before. It’s definitely something to think about.

Similar to the opinions of much of my generation, I’m sure, social media can be a blessing and a curse. I love having access to anything and everything at the touch of a fingertip. The ability to do this, however, has caused me to rely on my phone, laptop, and social media as a whole way too much. Maybe that’s my own fault, my own lack of self-control. Social media doesn’t have to control us; it’s a matter of us allowing it to do so.

“Social media gives each of us a voice; a way to say what we want, when we want, and it even gives us different ways to do it.”

I’m just as guilty of this as the next guy.

Social media gives each of us a voice; a way to say what we want, when we want, and it even gives us different ways to do it. It gives us an outlet to share what and how we feel, to connect with others who feel the same; to build each other up (or potentially, bring each other down). We, as millennials, may have the world at our finger tips, but we also tend to expect answers to life’s never ending problems in an instant. We want others to solve our problems and this might have stemmed from our reliance on the internet. We get the chance to learn, interact, and expand our horizons with the help of technology. Social media has blessed us in many more ways than one, but if you’re not careful, it can cause problems just as easy as it can solve them. CNBC found that, 87 percent of millennials admitted to missing out on a conversation because they were distracted by their phone. Meanwhile, 54 percent said they experience a fear of missing out if not checking social networks (2015).

These things happen with social media.

Be aware, so this doesn’t happen to you (more than it might already). Connecting in the world outside of social media is just as important.

Social media will continue to evolve as time goes on, just as it has in the past. Social media use has skyrocketed in the past decade. Nearly two-thirds of American adults (65%) use social networking sites, up from 7% when Pew Research Center began systematically tracking social media usage in 2005.  Today, young adults (ages 18 to 29) are the most likely to use social media, 90% do, compared to 12% in 2005. One of the biggest changes over the past decade is the usage of social media among those whp are 65 and older. It has more than tripled sicne 2010, when 11% used social media (2015).

“As a millennial myself, I have watched the world of technology change before my eyes.  I have seen it overcome many challenges, and develop into what it is today.”

Today, 35% of all those 65 and older report using social media, compared with just 2% in 2005 (Pew Research Center, 2015). Other factors such as social-economic status, ethnicity, gender, and community differences have also affected social media use over time and has made a huge stride over the last ten years. None of this is extremely surprising. The use of social media has transformed and it seems almost impossible to function or relate to the people around you, without having social media to use.

As a millennial myself, I have watched the world of technology change before my eyes.  I have seen it overcome many challenges, and develop into what it is today, where most of the world relies on some sort of social media to get by on a daily basis. I have learned the world of social media and taught the generations above me how to use it. I am excited to see where the future of social media will go; to see how it will continue to change in the future.

How do YOU involve yourself in social media?

social media

Social media photo from (2015).



This week as an assignment, my professor had me create an infographic using I have seen my fair share of infographics in my time, but this was my first time creating one. It was really simple learning how to make an infographic, which is great for people like me who just aren’t so great with technology. I chose my subject and then from there I picked a layout, split it into sections, added information and photos and came up with the finished product below.

I chose to make an infographic relating to diabetes awareness month; which just so happens to be in November!

There are many reasons why I chose diabetes awareness month. The first being, I don’t think it gets nearly as much recognition as it deserves. More than 30 million Americans alone suffer with this disease. A lot of people don’t quite understand what diabetes is or the ramifications of the disease.

The second reason I chose to make an infographic relating to diabetes awareness month is because many people near and dear to my heart live with this disease every day of their life. My mother, two first cousins, and two very close friends have Type 1 diabetes and live with not having a working pancreas, each and every day of their lives. They are always checking their blood sugars, watching what they eat, taking shots, using a pump, and staying on top of their health, because if they don’t, they might not get the chance to wake up tomorrow.

Our health is so important. It’s all we have. No one deserves to live with this horrible disease. Not you, not me, and especially not the ones I love. Please stay on top of your health. Check and get tested for diabetes regularly. Eat healthy, stay fit, and be thankful for every day that you get. Diabetes doesn’t discriminate. It can happen to any person at any time throughout their life. 

I hope this post, as well as my infographic sheds some light on diabetes. Remember November is Diabetes Awareness Month! 

Untitled Infographic (1)

Diabetes Awareness Month Infographic

Tweet Deck

Tweet Deck is a different way to use everyone’s favorite social media platform; Twitter. This is my first attempt at it, and it’s kind of overwhelming. I don’t tweet a lot, nor do I have an abundance of followers, so it doesn’t make much sense for me to use tweet deck, in my opinion. This free service allows you to view all parts of your twitter account on one screen at one time, and it lets you schedule your tweets in advance to be sent out at a certain time and day.

I did this for an assignment for my Cap 105 class at GVSU, so I used the hashtag #cap105gvsu in all of my tweets. I just tweets random things for five days straight that will begin posting on my twitter page (@shelbycorliss) today, November 12.

I can see tweet deck being beneficial for busy individuals who still want to be very involved on social media, or someone who doesn’t especially like social media, but must use it for promotion purposes, potentially a CEO of a company or a celebrity. However, I am neither of these, and I actually enjoy wasting my time on twitter during the day. I tried this, but I will be sticking to the classic twitter page when it comes to tweeting and browsing my newsfeed.

Check out my twitter! @shelbycorliss

Below are screenshots of my tweet deck experience.

APA Format:

Shelby Corliss. November 12 2015. Tweetdeck Assignment. Screenshot. Retrieved from


tweet deck2

Doug Conant Visits GVSU

Doug Conant is man with stories, one’s he wants to share with the world; because stories stick. I was lucky enough to sit in on a close knit conversation with him and a few other peers of mine last week. I was able to hear some of his stories, and they were very insightful.

Doug is the man who “put chicken back in chicken noodle soup”. He is the founder of Conant Leadership, Former CEO of Campbell Soup, Chairman of KELI and Chairman of Avon. He is dedicated to helping improve the quality of leadership in the 21st century, and that’s exactly what he is doing.

Each point he made, began with a story. They each ended with a lesson. He believes deeply in using storytelling as a way to be and become a better leader. Changing the way that we look at situations can change our entire life. We need to realize that each interaction in an opportunity to help, instead of a hassle or an annoyance. When you go into work in the morning, you’re going to get those phone calls, those emails, those meetings, and those conversations that have to be had. It can be a stress, or you can make it into an opportunity. To help, to better, and to change the world in which you live.

The past CEO of Campbell’s soup told us, what we need to realize is that “pushing away the world isn’t the right way to go about things. In the world of work, you need to be responsive. There is a story that needs to be told, because people are creating a new paradigm of getting stuff done in small(er) interactions”. Take the day one moment at a time. One phone call, email, meeting, or conversation; make each interaction with someone and attempt to make a difference.

How can we make that difference?

Doug touched on “touch points”, which he wrote an award winning book about, that I recommend for anyone going into a career centered on people. The touch point’s model basically means, that in order to make a difference you must be more like the people who have made an impact on your life.

Think of someone in your life who means a lot to you. Is there something that person has said, that has stuck with you? Has changed you? Has impacted your life?

Be like that person.

In short, there are four parts to touch points. Be there for people. Ask how you can help. Connect back after your attempt to help, and ask how it went. (Show you care) And lastly, make it personal. Make things personally relevant to people, and make that connection with others.

At the end of the discussion, we were left with a process that has worked very well for Doug in every aspect of his life. If we want to be successful in this business, and in life, we need to be tough minded on standards and tender hearted on people. If we can do this, a positive, flowing, work environment will be much better for everyone.

A lot of what Doug talked about spoke to me. He shared life experiences, and ones that I can learn from. Stories DO stick, and I will remember that as I go into my future and into my career. Making a difference in someone’s day is such a small interaction that makes a big difference. I plan to use this idea of touch points in my everyday life. Getting to meet Doug was a great experience. He is such a down to earth guy. People listen to him when he speaks, and for a good reason.

If you ever get the chance to hear him speak, you’ll enjoy it, I’m sure. He has some books out as well, that are worth the read, as well as, he has a website that I would check out if you’re interested in learning more.

Below is a photo of me and a classmate with Doug at the end of our time with him. Our friend Brittany took this photo.

Myself, Doug, and a classmate.

Myself, Doug, and a classmate.

Keith Donovan at GVSU

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege to meet Keith Donovan as well as hear him speak at Grand Valley State University as part of the Advertising and Public Relations speaker series. Keith grew up on the east side of Michigan, graduated from GVSU in 1997 (with an AD/PR degree), and has learned a lot through his time in the field, which he graciously shared during his time with us. He has had a lot of success in Public Relations and he believes in sharing his journey to help students who are in the same place he was twenty years ago.

Keith is the Vice President of Airfoil group; a creative marketing and public relations firm serving companies in the technology, consumer, healthcare, automotive, manufacturing sectors. That being said, he has done a lot, met a lot of people, and been a lot of places. He has concrete knowledge of what it’s like to emerge yourself in an ever growing and changing field, public relations specifically. I enjoyed his presentation very much.

He is passionate. This field takes passion. Your life should be filled with passion for something. If you don’t have a passion for what you’re going to school for at this very moment, I urge you to figure out why. Maybe you’ll get there, or maybe you’re not doing what you’re meant to do.

Keith made many good points and made an impact on my future, for sure. Besides talking about his professional career in public relations, he talked about how public relations is changing and how that will affect this generation. He also gave tips about resume building, and discussed an important communications skill set to have in this field.

Resume building is SO important in any field, and so is interviewing. If you want that first job out of college, making sure your resume is current, credible (data as proof), and make sure to proofread it, over and over again!  Let someone else look it over too. Your resume is an employer’s first look into who you are and what you’re about, don’t mess that up before they even get to meet you.

Having the necessary skills to support your work in public relations is a must. In this field, Keith mentioned that we are always learning. It never stops. We can always be better, stronger, public relations professionals. This is a relationship business. Make them, have them, and keep them. Communication is crucial. Here are some key communication skills to have that Keith discussed.

  • Your network is your single biggest asset (it’s how he has gotten all of his jobs)
  • Don’t over think it….you never know who will and can help you so build that network
  • Be a problem solver; in your work and home life
  • Think critically and make decisive decisions
  • Failure IS an option….”sometimes you win, sometimes you learn”
  • Invest in people (the rest will follow)
  • Take time to get to know people on a personal level, not just your next business adventure
  • People will not know how much you know until they know how much you care
Be the change you want to see in the world. (That’s exactly what Keith is doing)
As cliché as it is, it’s as simple as that.
There is so much more I could add to this post. I hope some of what I have written, you can take something from, because I definitely took more than something from Keith when came to GVSU. I am thankful for people in this world who are willing to invest in me, and Keith is one of those people.
Below is a photo I took during Keith’s presentation.