Making space safe

Today I am sad, I have been sad all weekend and indeed before that. Two homophobic attacks in the press in the last week. Those poor women in London and then after that the cast of Rotterdam. Only the night before Sammy and Jodie from Chrysalis were part of the cast Q&A after the show. The atmosphere was positive and everyone was feeling that we genuinely are making progress towards acceptance and understanding for all.

Chrysalis will continue doing everything we can to change the world. To continue to work towards the right for everyone to be their authentic self. To help people find their authentic selves and be proud of that self. Those of us who can be out and proud will continue to do so, without fear, because we know that those stone throwers are not representative of Southampton citizens, we know that this city has been accepting and embracing diversity for centuries and that people like Jonathan Clarke at Cantell School, the Pride teams, all the companies with LGBT+ networks, the Unions and everyone else continue to make the world better.

Speaking of Pride teams – did anyone else see the uniqueness that was the Cambridge Pride Parade? Punts! It was absolutely glorious and great to see Cambridge holding their first ever Pride, a great turn out despite the typical British summer weather.

I remember taking part in my first Pride, I remember how incredible it felt to be seen. To be visible and to be safe. That we are getting Prides popping up everywhere is so wonderful. That allies are taking part and sharing the positive message of the day, challenging transphobia and homophobia on our behalf, is empowering. We are not alone. The cast of Rotterdam are not alone. You are not alone. We are here for you.

If you want to take part in a Pride this summer then Chrysalis is attending as many in Hampshire and Dorset as we can. Get in touch with the office if you want to volunteer or take part in a walking group under our banner.

Oops! It’s nearly 10am – better get on to the what’s on bit as fast as I can.

So, last week was a super busy one but so productive!

On Monday I met with a management consultant who is offering their time and expertise to help Chrysalis with this next stage in our own transition. Really exciting stuff and something to light the fire under me, if I thought I was achieving before then this will show me what I can really do.

Tuesday and Wednesday I was with Jo Lockwood delivering training to the Hampshire GP practice nurses. So great to meet so many wonderful people. We had some great discussions on both days around the challenges that they meet in their practices and I hope that soon we will have a few nurses coming to the groups as speakers. Save your questions up now. They may not be experts on transition but they certainly know what’s what in a GP surgery. Did you know that if you have changed your gender at your surgery you will not get called for life saving screenings? Your GP or practice nurse can talk you through this and give you advice on what to do to maintain your confidentiality and your health.

Wednesday was also a bittersweet day because our fantastic facilitator Jamie has stepped down. Thank you to Jamie for all your hard work and dedication to Chrysalis and to your Partners Support Group. We wish you all the best for the future and would love to welcome you back as volunteer or advisor at a time that suits you. Bournemouth development continues apace, if you know anyone who would like to volunteer then please point them in the direction of the office. We are also looking for a venue to hold our Bournemouth launch, a nice meeting room where we can speak to professional services about the new service, all leads welcome.

Thursday I met with Jon and we talked budgets and finance, it was a last minute meeting but one that really made a difference because that evening Neil, our business analyst volunteer, and I sat down and looked at the detailed plans. Getting all those pesky numbers into the right places and making sure everything added up. Thanks to Kevan for his flexibility as these numbers landed for him on Friday morning when he was producing the monthly accounts. Work behind the scenes also means that we are soon to move to a decent piece of accounting software which will make everyone’s lives easier. Yep, I do get excited about things like that. I want to be able to tell everyone how well we are doing!
Friday I got a change to chat with Jo before a wonderful evening with the Basingstoke group. Thank you so much Hannah for inviting me and making me feel so welcome. I can wholeheartedly say that you are doing a wonderful job and it was so great to hear from everyone there how much they value Chrysalis and the Basingstoke T&Q Support Group.

This week I’m finishing the monthly report and meeting with Jon today, going to another nurses TARGET meeting tomorrow and then delivering Trans Awareness training on Thursday. Not bad considering that I’m on holiday on Wednesday and Friday!

And then, :o, I’m on holiday! Actual holiday. Leaving the country kind of holiday! For a week. So see you when the days start growing shorter and the summer holidays are that much closer.