I did it! I ran 5K at a Park Run on Saturday. Compared to the amazing Tascha who ran the Basingstoke Half Marathon for us a couple of weeks ago and to Amy who is coming all the way over from the US to run for Chrysalis in the London Marathon 2020 my 5K is small indeed but still I’m so pleased to have done it. I’ve never really been into running, if I’m honest I’ve always preferred to cycle (much less effort for the same result) so this was my first running event, my first time running with the pack, and I really enjoyed it!
What does it mean if you’re an ally?
Ask Google that question and you get a metaphor for an answer, a link to Culture Club’s first video but Chrysalis has an answer. An ally is someone who wants to make the world a better place for everyone, who wants to create safe spaces, who believes everyone has the right to be their most authentic self.
Shanah Tovah to all those celebrating Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish festival of the New Year and anniversary of the Creation. As I sit here drinking my morning coffee and wondering what to write in this week’s blog it’s nice to take a moment to look forward, to celebrate live and to think about the wonder that is our natural world, oh and apples, it’s always a good time to think about apples!
Today is Bi Visibility Day so here’s a shout out to all my fellow bi and pan sexual beings, it’s great to be out there and part of the vast variety of human experience. I don’t know about you but I was both pleased and vindicated by the publication of a recent study into sexuality* that not only showed there were 5 DNA markers associated with sexual behaviour, and none with the power to predict the sexuality of an individual, but also obliterated the Kinsey scale as the way of determining and boxing up one’s sexuality. Attraction, like life, is not linear.
Sitting here in my box with no windows I admire the space I have created, last week was a week of tidying, getting rid of the weight of old paperwork, old equipment and old thoughts. Most people do a Spring Clean but I think that for Chrysalis an autumn clean was timely. The Pride kit is packed away, but the travel kit is ready for we have many events coming up, starting with the University Fresher’s Fairs.
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.”
Did you realise it’s less than two months until Halloween? We may have run out of bank holidays for the foreseeable future but there’s definitely a few key dates on the horizon. As I near my two year anniversary as Chrysalis’ CEO I am so pleased to be welcoming more fantastic people onto the team. We have some great volunteers joining us across the area with a welcome to Robyn up in Basingstoke, Rosie taking on the role of Portsmouth Coordinator and the great team that is Bournemouth with Saskia, Cara, Helen, Julie and Amanda settling into their group.
Back to life, back to reality! There is always that sense after the August bank holiday that it’s time to settle down and be sensible again. Summer is great but now back to work. Even the traffic this morning seemed to be returning to the normal state of affairs on the M27. Some of those cones are becoming close personal friends.
Speaking of friends, it was great to see so many of you out at Southampton Pride this weekend. Back where it all started for Chrysalis’ transition, that first time we were out and proud and Dianne led the parade.
How to start a blog after two weeks of holiday? Do I tell you about music festivals and weddings and time spent playing mobile phone games, of traffic jams and burnt out trucks and the taste of German lager? Should I talk about avoiding the news, all news, for nearly two weeks? How about my reaction to the appalling assault on Owen Jones, to the ongoing political situation which means that on top of everything else the long-awaited reform of the Gender Recognition Act is most definitely kicked into the long grass?
A fantastic meeting with volunteer Joanne Lockwood on Friday lunchtime clarified some thinking about what Chrysalis gains from everyone who is part of our community and what Chrysalis gives to each and every person who we touch. This started off as an exercise to find the right words to describe people who come to the Chrysalis groups but soon spidered into a fantastic diagram about what people give and what people gain from being part of Chrysalis. I would love to hear what your gains and gives are, why not message us and tell us?