New year, so many new things!

Welcome back! I hope you all had a good break and thanks to our tireless volunteers who have been keeping everything ticking over during the holidays. Thanks to Sheila for the Happy New Year message and to all our facilitators and group members who made Friday special with the first support groups of the year.

The first ever Chrysalis Bake Off hosted by the Southampton Wellbeing group was a roaring success! Thanks to Max, Laura, Emily, Taylor, Jodie, Dawn and everyone else who was there. Making cakes, tasting cakes, on the door, bringing partners and parents, winning crocheted medals and generally making it a great end to the year. Congratulations to Ruby and her boobs, Emilia and her chocolate orange intersex genitals and to Robin with some stunning gender identity flag trees. It was great to ‘coincidentally’ have a trustee meeting on the same evening, I know that Jon, Steph, Sammy and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to sample the wares too. A big shout out to everyone for their clear labelling for a completely inclusive event. As someone who’s not eaten dairy for many years it’s lovely to get sweet treats at times. Check out our Home page for photos of the evening.

A sad note for everyone who has, like me, been a long-time fan of Harry Potter. We were ecstatic when the judge ruled that being abusive to trans people and refusing to use their names or refer to them by their correct gender was contrary to the values expected of our democratic society and found against Maya Forstater in her employment tribunal. An affirmation that the Equality Act and its application is there for the protection of us all, a statement that the law supports the rights of trans people and that no one should be hurt or harmed as a result of being transgender any more than for their race, age, or disability, or indeed any other aspect of our natural diversity as human beings. And yet this moment of celebration, of recognition that actually progress is happening and the world does keep getting better, more slowly perhaps than some of us would like but nevertheless still better, when JK Rowling spoke out against the ruling and proved that she has sadly been radicalised and whatever views she used to hold she now holds those that harm trans people and those who love them. Views that are antipathic to those which should be held by members of a democratic society. I try very hard to stay away from negative opinion and thoughts in this blog but I could not be real if I didn’t recognise the pain caused when one of your heroes is shown to have feet of clay. So much discussion and debate on my timeline, so many gifts bought and given or returned, so many plans put into disarray. For myself I rationalise that the story of Harry Potter remains the story of transformation, of affirmation, of an individual who has something inside which is considered shameful and to be kept secret by his blood family and who becomes transformed, whole and incredible when he is able to be his true self. That story will never change, that story I keep close. For me that is the point where I can separate art from artist.

And now onwards and upwards! What’s on for this week and the future of Chrysalis?

Today is Get Stuff Done Day ™ - I have a long list of tasks for today including funding, budgets and the conference so it’s a focused day of head down and music on
Tuesday is Bournemouth day meeting with the team at BU to talk about our Conference on the 14th April at BU and to meet with our fantastic counsellors for their supervision. We are still recruiting for Counselling Supervisors – if you are interested in volunteering some time and expertise to Chrysalis then please do get in touch

Which brings me onto lots of exciting things – we will be launching our new website very, very soon. is coming because as you all know Gender Identity Matters and it most definitely doesn’t have to be an issue. Expect to see ChrysalisGIM used as well as the Chrysalis that you have come to know and love as we move forward with our rebranding, thanks to An and Steffi for all of your help with this.

We also come to the end of our current office contract and so more exciting news is on its way. Watch this space because on Wednesday it’s the first Trustee meeting of 2020, with Paul, Naomi and Scott joining the board to take us up to full strength. I’m sure you will all join me in thanking Anne for the hard work and dedication she has given to Chrysalis whilst she takes a well-earned sabbatical.

Thanks to Neil who’s helping me get the budgets straight on Tuesday evening so everything is prepared for the meeting on Wednesday.

Thursday sees Sheila and I up in Basingstoke, catching up with the team and introducing Sheila to the area and then Friday it’s head down and working on tasks again. Getting focused on funding and actions from the board meeting.

Bye for now, speak to you in a week.