Community

I’m loving all the photos of friends and colleagues and people I have yet to meet celebrating Trans Pride in Brighton, the photos of everyone celebrating in Ryde on the Isle of Wight, seeing all the positive and affirming stories. Being accepted and included isn’t something that everyone one can take for granted and when you haven’t felt included the empowerment you get from being in a safe space yet visible and with those of similar mindset is incredible.

When Pride days become Pride years I don’t think we should forget Pride. Why not still celebrate that feeling of togetherness, of kinship? Days when we say “yes! Lets just celebrate that it’s OK to be yourself”? Everyone should be proud of being their authentic self, of not having to hide, of not having to self censor.

I love Pride, being part of everything, seeing the happiness, the acceptance and feeling the love, as Chrysalis grows we will be doing more and more Prides but we will also be doing other events. Getting out and about in the community showing that being trans+ isn’t just for Pride. Pride is not the only time that trans+ people should feel safe to be visible. Pride is not a day or a week or a month. Pride is life!

Yesterday Max and I were at the Eastleigh Mela, Mela is a Sanskrit word meaning fair or gathering and this one was organised by the Asian Welfare and Cultural Association of Eastleigh, a fantastic fusion of Asian and other cultures; some super yummy samosas (anyone who knows me knows I am a complete mug for a decent veggie samosa); lots of great shows on the stage and tunes all day long.

So what’s the link? Well Chrysalis exists to provide safe spaces for trans+ people, their families and close friends to meet, share experiences, receive support and generally to break down the barriers caused by isolation and discrimination. Part of our mission is to make the world a better place by getting out and removing some of those barriers ourselves.

Yesterday Chrysalis was proud to (and the Pride flag, the inclusive Pride flag, the non-binary flag, the genderqueer flag, the gender fluid flag and the agender flag of course!) in the wider community. Making it OK to be trans+ everywhere, did we speak to lots of people? Yes, so many. Many new contacts, many new supporters, many interested in volunteering and many who felt that bit better about their community once they saw us there. Thank you to our hosts and we’re already looking forward to next year.

It seems that July is ‘All about Hampshire’ month, what with celebrating Hampshire Day last week with the investing of the brand new Hampshire flag and then the Eastleigh Mela on Sunday and appearing on the http://1community.org.uk/ radio show at 3pm on Tuesday, don’t worry if you miss it, you can download me as a Podcast after the show.

What else is on this week, well firstly spare a thought for all of us here at Chrysalis. We have to fend for ourselves, how will we cope? Super Dawn is on holiday, a much-deserved break from looking after us all. Go easy on the team, we may miss the odd email in her absence!

You may have heard that Carole from the office team is moving on to pastures new, we are really pleased and excited for her but terribly sad to see her go too. If you are interested in joining our team for 12 hours a week then please do watch this space for information about how to apply for the Meeting Centre and Volunteer Coordinator role.

And finally it must be the end of the month because my diary is full of supervision and other wonderful one-to-ones. I love these times, reconnecting with all the volunteers and through them the beneficiaries. I love knowing how well everyone is working and how many people we are helping. Helping the facilitators and counsellors really develop their practice so we can be the best possible organisation we can.

In light of this we are looking for more supervisors and more trustees. If you are interested in getting involved and helping develop best practice for Chrysalis then drop me a message or check out our vacancies page www.chrysalis-gii.org/vacancies

Bye for now, this time next week it will be nearly August!