Allies everywhere

It’s Monday! And the sun is shining and it’s nearly the middle of May and oh my goodness, where has the time gone.

I suppose I should start this week’s blog like those pen pal letters of yore, where the first line is always an apology for the unconscionable delay in writing. So, dear reader(s) [I think there must be at least a few of you out there, but like that pen pal I was it seems I send my words into the great wide world and rarely find out what impact they have had.] I am very sorry for the complete lack of words last week. Sam I’m very sorry, I’ve broken the compact and gone against the Social Media Guidelines.

Why? Why am I so tardy in writing to you? Well, I think mainly because it was May Day and bank holidays are precious things, especially those spent in the company of good friends. But then, oh pity me, I was sick. Not really, really sick but sick enough that I needed to take to my bed for a couple of days and even looking at my phone made the world spin a little. Thanks to the incredible office team here everything continued to run smoothly but my hand did falter on the helm a little.
I’m fine now, if you were wondering. Which is good because this week and on we have much to do. I need to dust off the business plan and update it with all of the Lottery projects, we continue to drive forward with Basingstoke and Bournemouth development and even more exciting is the Facilitator’s Away Day and Encounter Group training coming up on the 18th. When I started here I promised all the diligent facilitators that I would enhance their not inconsiderable skills with some formal training and I’m really pleased that Dr Mike Sims is able to deliver this training. Chrysalis’ transition continues and all of us are starting to uncrumple and dry our wings.

I was musing in Tiny Car about this week’s blog, thinking about the last few good weekends I have had, the conversations with friends and professionals about the work that we do here, about what it means to be trans* and how there are so many allies out there. For every transphobe there’s 10 people who will challenge them and a lot more who don’t agree but don’t have the words. For every professional who doesn’t seem to get it I know there are plenty of colleagues who are striving to get things right. So my message today is about courage, it’s about allies, it’s about trust. Chrysalis training gives people the confidence to be good allies and to make the simple changes that make things much easier for trans* people. Our information aids empathy, gives people the words and the language to be better allies, but their hearts? Well those they bring themselves. Being different and fearing judgement and ridicule yet knowing you have to be seen as you to survive and thrive can tighten the bands of isolation. Coming to Chrysalis, trusting a friend, taking that first step out into the world as your authentic self is often scary, but know that you have allies. There will always be someone safe you can go to.

So, have I groveled enough, do you consider me suitably contrite for having failed to provide you with words last week? What’s coming up, enquiring minds perhaps want to know.

Monday oh! Look at my diary! I have blocked the whole of today out to work on the business plan, (It even says I’m supposed to get out of the office, tune in next week to see if I actually manage that) and then later I’m meeting with Georgie Williams researcher at the University of Southampton who gave a fascinating talk at

On Tuesday morning the office team are interviewing a new office volunteer, I’ve already met Stephanie and I’m pretty sure they will like her. Stephanie is offering not only her time to support the office team but also her skills in graphic design and video editing and will be working with me on the Transition project, expect an email from her soon to get you to say a few words on film about What Chrysalis means to you? and What Chrysalis has done for you? and to canvass your thoughts and opinions on our brand.

In the afternoon it’s my turn for interviewing, I’m so excited! We are recruiting our first new person as a result of the Lottery Funding, this time next week I hope to be able to announce that we have a new Fundraising and Social Media Officer.

Wednesday is a busy day. It’s the office team meeting in the morning, then the Bournemouth Launch catch up and Facilitator’s meeting in the afternoon.

And on the downward side of the slope, heading into the end of May with another bank holiday showing itself on the horizon it is Basingstoke Development Day on Thursday and then Friday there’s a Southern Health networking event.

Just before I go I want to say thank you to everyone who helps keep Chrysalis going. Every volunteer, every employee, every supporter, every ally. We really couldn’t do it without you.