Experience experts

I can’t start this week’s blog without a recognition of the horrific attack in New Zealand, in sadness of how extreme views, of division rather than acceptance and inclusion have gained such ground recently. It filled my feed over the weekend (no mean feat considering I live in a trans echo chamber most of the time thanks to algorithms) and was the main item on the news as I drove into work. Yet again the media is brought into question, and I am reminded of CN Lester’s talk the other month where they reminded us that sharing hate-filled articles, even to condemn them, is to feed the machine. Acceptance perhaps doesn’t sell newspapers but it sure as anything reduces violence and discord.

Chrysalis has supported transgender people since 2005 and their significant others since 2012. We have a wealth of experience in the power of acceptance. Of self-acceptance. We know that people who are accepted are happier, healthier and live more fulfilling lives. We know that hatred doesn’t work and so we will continue to work towards a society where everyone is more aware of the experiences of others, of the ways that we are similar as humans rather than the outward differences. I’m sure you’ve noticed how much easier it is to like someone when you experience empathy for them. The conference is a great opportunity for everyone to find out just that bit more, seven hours Continuing Professional Development and lunch for £40! Equality is for everyone, not just those who can afford it. https://www.facebook.com/events/2256821084602479/ for more information and tickets.

As always the week has been a busy one, both Tiny Car and my feet put on some serious miles, on Wednesday I managed nearly six miles just walking around London! What a great day though, a chance to meet up with Octavian from Stonewall Housing and then with Margherita from the International Observatory of Human Rights. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t jealous of the view from their office, how many people get a chance to look down on the Tower of London?

On Tuesday the National Lottery Community Fund announced some fantastic news, they awarded Chrysalis, Mermaids and many other LGBT+ charities vital funding, recognising the importance of our work supporting and advocating for LGBT+. The support of the Lottery and generosity of the players means the world to Chrysalis, enabling us to continue with our lifesaving work and our own period of growth and transition.

The rest of the week was filled with work on the conference, with Julie on developing our Bournemouth support and with Julie and Max on developing our training and Devin on , check the events out on Facebook, there’s a whole week’s worth of good things next week . Which reminds me – did you see we now have lanyards for transmasculine, agender, genderqueer and non-binary identities as well as the more common transgender flag? Give the office a message if you want to buy one, they are £2.50 each.
What’s on for this week? Well I wouldn’t want to try to predict the wider world but for Chrysalis? Well that’s perhaps a bit easier.

Today we travel to to meet with David and Ani about the conference, it’s getting close now! Tuesday I have some more one-to-ones and then Wednesday Carole and I are conducting counsellor interviews.

Everyone who comes to Chrysalis can access one-to-one, open ended counselling with counsellors trained in transgender matters giving everyone the opportunity not only to meet with peers and attend workshops but also to explore anything and everything that is on their mind. Our counsellors will never expect you to speak about any one particular subject, but they will work with you to find out why something is important to you. Skilled in relationship building the counsellors are there to provide a safe, non-judgemental environment for personal development and acceptance. The more we understand ourselves the more we come to accept ourselves and believe it or not the more we come to love ourselves, even the most unloveable bits, and to accept others.

Thursday is a Basingstoke focus day and then Friday is more of those volunteer one-to-ones, rounding off the penultimate week in March quite nicely.