Remembrance and Hope

A sombre and thoughtful start to my blog this week as I muse on the Remembrance Service I attended on Sunday, stood in the cold by a war memorial listing the names of those killed in the Great War, the War to End All Wars, and those military and civilian casualties of the conflict which followed.

Better heads than mine have written about those conflicts, the reasons and the actions but I would be remiss to not take a moment to think about how the Institute of Sex Research in Berlin, a pioneer worldwide in the call for civil rights and social acceptance for homosexual and transgender people, was one of the targets of repression, fascism and intolerance. It has taken decades for LGBT+ people to regain their rights but now there isn’t just one organisation in one continent advocating acceptance, there are many across the world, with many links between them. The world in general has moved forward and allies are becoming more vocal, proud in their support of the rights of everyone to a decent life.

Everywhere I go I meet allies, some of them organise events like Amy and Kristianne with the Secret Joy Club and others like , take support of trans people to the highest level. are the best support we can ever have, and many of them will be joining us in the event on Transgender Day of Remembrance 20th November , if you are an ally and haven’t got your flag yet then you have a couple more days to ensure that we can ship it to you in time

Another couple of busy weeks in the life of Chrysalis. Last week as you know I was meeting with the West Hants Clinical Commissioning group and lots of influential people, thanks to Jason for the invitation to speak about Gender Identity: Equality and Personalisation in Crisis and Mental Health Care. Those of you who have attended my talks will be impressed that I managed to keep within the half hour limit! Thursday was a great chat with Caroline Nokes and a great meeting with one of our funders, the Teddy Bear Trust, talking about how we can improve our support up in the north of the county. A net result of these conversations is clearly that Chrysalis needs to offer both trans+ and significant others support in Bournemouth and Basingstoke. Pockets of funding to exploit for these goals would be much appreciated!

Last week also saw the next stage in our ambitious plans to bring Chrysalis IT into the Century of the Fruitbat, thanks to Joanne who has been working hard to move us over to Office 365 and to Deanna who has been hosting our email since April. This work continues apace with online access to Chrysalis policies and procedures for all volunteers one of our key goals.

Tomorrow (Tuesday) I’ll be at the University of Southampton Student’s Union from 11 to 3 with the Chrysalis stand, please do stop by to say hello. We’re in the concourse which is good as the weather is a trifle chilly for standing outside!

Wednesday I’m really excited because I have a whole day in the office. It’ll be great to be back with the team again. All this gallivanting means that I miss the connections. I’m also at Within Temptation at Southampton Guildhall on Wednesday night which is going to make getting up for the Health Jam organised by the Southampton Co-Op Membership pioneer at 7am on Thursday a trifle challenging but clearly sleep is for the weak! That evening I’ve been kindly invited back to SUSU to join a panel discussing being trans and transitioning at university. For those who know my history then this is a great opportunity to bring in some of my experiences from as well as my Chrysalis knowledge.

Friday is a day off so I’ll have a chance to catch up on sleep then before seeing you all next Monday