Happy St Swithuns' Day - the sun is shining

Where have I been? I’m so late in posting I hear you say. Terribly bad show and all that don’t you know? Well I hope that you accept my apologies and consider being invited to the raising of the Hampshire Flag on our very first Hampshire Day a reasonable excuse.

This morning saw me braving the traffic on the M3, if you’re interested I think it’s better than that on the M27 and most definitely a vast improvement on the A27 which meant that I started today with only a small amount of time in Tiny Car as I headed into Winchester for the inaugural raising of the Hampshire flag. A really great opportunity to meet some of the notables of Hampshire, particularly your counsellors, and to share Chrysalis’ mission and to talk about our shared passion of making life better for people in Hampshire. After eighteen months or so in this role I’m starting to recognise and be recognised by people and it was great to hear people speak about our Fly the Trans Flag campaign.

When I speak to people about what I do, both in training and in general conversation, there is often a comment or question about surgery, a misconception that being trans is all about a destination, that all trans people have the same needs, desires, experiences and expectations. One thing that Chrysalis knows is that the ‘to’ changes as one discovers the ‘who’. One of the great things about being a trainer and doing the work I do is that I can gradually and subtly change those misconceptions for the better.

Last week I was out and about in Southampton, Basingstoke and on the glorious Isle of Wight (I love how the island is changing, the positive impact of Pride not only on LGBT+ islanders but on all those who have tirelessly fought for change, inclusion and acceptance) speaking about the work we do and how to be an ally: helping people to find their words to speak up for a loved one, a colleague, a friend.

This week looks like a more sedate one, no trains or planes or boats mainly office work, focusing on consolidating the work we are putting in out and about, all the hard work of our volunteers. Perhaps I might even get out of Tiny Car and use my pushbike to get to work. Tune in next Monday to find out if I actually did, pop down to the Eastleigh Mela on Sunday to say hi to Max and I.

One final note this week – how could I not mention the launch of our Bournemouth Trans and Questioning Support Group on Thursday 18th? I’m so very excited about this. The team have worked incredibly hard to get everything in place and I know that they had a fantastic time at Bourne Free promoting Chrysalis and reaching out to those who need our support the most. Welcome one and all to a great new chapter in Chrysalis history.