Pronoun badges? Ooh, yes please!

What a week! It seems that every time I turn around something else is changing. I want to recognise how the world is really changing for the better. How our country is changing. How people are changing. No longer is the discourse –“oh! Sorry, thinking about pronouns is too difficult for me.” Instead it’s “oooh! Pronoun badges! Can I take some back for my team? I want to use them to open conversations and make sure we are more inclusive.”

Even six months ago when I was delivering training I would need to explain what a pronoun was and why it was important to everyone to get them right. Now? Well at our Bournemouth launch on Friday, speaking to professionals from across the county and beyond, their only question was “where is it best to include pronouns in our email signatures?”

Progress is happening, progress is everywhere, we are moving forward and it’s the small steps of everyone that are making our world a better place. A place which saw Max and I back in Eastleigh in Leigh Park again this Saturday morning with Deanna, Sammy, Jodie and Alex as this month’s Pride Dream Team. A place where everyone was smiling and happy and relaxed and simply celebrating that it is OK to be yourself. A place where so many young people came to say hi and where we had a great chat with our friends at the Beaumont Society. A place were the sharp eyed would have noticed our very own Kevan up on the bandstand (he has a fantastic voice). A place where even two years ago people would have said “oh I don’t know that Eastleigh needs a Pride” Well everywhere needs Pride! Everywhere needs to stand up and say “It’s OK to be you”.

The launch of our Bournemouth, Christchurch, and Poole Professional Services couldn’t have gone better on Friday. Thanks to everyone who was part of that success. So great to hear Ayla Holdom speak about what it was to transition without Chrysalis, how even ten short years ago the world was so very different, a world where her personal, internal, story was spewed across the gutter press, every slur directed at someone who simply needed to transition because “the alternative, well let’s not think about that.” If you haven’t seen the video from our launch pop over to our Facebook or Twitter or watch this space as the website comes under a refresh thanks to our newest employee Sophie who started at 9am on Friday I think you’ll all agree that she’s a fantastic addition to the team.

What’s on this week? A slightly rushed blog as I have to go to a meeting in a moment with one of our counsellors. I’m so sad that Sam from the Fareham and then the Southampton group is leaving us. She has been so great to work with, truly professional and an incredible counsellor. She has a few more sessions at the group to end with her clients, we just need to catch up on her paperwork. Sam moves slightly north and we’re already in talks about developing a Chrysalis group in her new location so she’s hopefully not gone for ever.
Next it’s another meeting with a counsellor, she’s not going anywhere though, which is great cos I know that, like all our counsellors she’s delivering really good therapy and is valued by us and her clients. After that I am cycling (yes! Get fit time!) to the office for a project planning meeting and then a challenging email needs to be written explaining why appearing to promote transphobia might be damaging to one’s reputation. (Chrysalis in its Advocacy and Education role)

Tuesday is the Miss S Business Development Meeting with Wednesday being Portsmouth development day – if you want to get involved in our Portsmouth team then give me a shout. Thursday I’m working on training for the Crown Prosecution Service and Friday it’s time to check that everything is going as well as possible in Southampton.

Just before I check out I would like to thank my friend Beck for gifting me with Ash Brockwell’s Trans*(verse) poetry anthology. So many fantastic poems in there, expect his words to appear at a training session near you sometime soon.