Good morning world! The new day is a great big fish*. (Well at least we can hope that something good is going to happen)
It has been a hard few weeks to be a trans+ person in the UK, over and above the usual challenges that being gender diverse brings. The vitriol in the press and on social media towards such a marginalised section of society has been hard to bear. I know some of my friends have found me readier to challenge; more feisty than usual, for it feels as if we are embattled. And for why? Because the government seeks to update a bit of complex and demeaning legislation. Reform of the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) will no more cause the world to end than did the Sex Discrimination Act the Equal Marriage Act or any other piece of legislation aimed at allowing law abiding people to live their lives in peace and privacy, with the appropriate legal documents.
The consultation closes on Friday. I will be responding on behalf of Chrysalis today but sadly I know Chrysalis as an organisation will be responding for many years to come to the untold harm done to so many trans+ people as their very existence and right to privacy is debated in the national press. Chrysalis knows that virtually every trans+ person has self-harmed or attempted to take their own life. Our counselling, workshops and facilitated group times are often the only place where trans+ people feel acceptance, many of our beneficiaries tell us they would not be here if not for Chrysalis.
Saturday saw the start of National Hate Crime Awareness week #NHCAW and the launch of the Southampton Love Not Hate #SOLoveNotHate campaign. This week I implore you to stand by your trans+ significant others: your colleagues, friends, fellow activists and those people you have never met and never will but who will feel the positive impact of your allegiance by taking a short time to complete the consultation. Check out http://www.stonewall.org.uk/gender-recognition-act for the most comprehensive guide to how to be an ally.
On Wednesday 10th September, World Suicide Prevention Day, I attended the NHS Surrey and Borders Partnership Suicide Prevention Information Network event focusing on the LGBTQI community, many thanks to Liz Holland and her team for including me. It was a privilege to meet the founders of @GIRESUK, @KellieFMaloney and Phil from @Mind_Out and to further understand how our NHS supports LGBT+ people.
Thursday we launched the Portsmouth Trans+ Wellbeing group –a monthly safe, confidential space for socialising, support and probably card games.
Saturday, as keen followers of @ChrysalisGIM will know, was also our trustee meeting where we talked about budgets, policies and biscuits. The Financial and Social Media Policies have now been approved and if you are interested in getting involved with our Social Media team – raising awareness, providing support and promoting fundraising – then please email email@example.com
What’s on for this week? Well clearly there is going to be a lot of work on the GRA Consultation as well as increasing the support we offer to our beneficiaries and volunteers.
Wednesday I’ve been invited to attend a Square Pegs LGBT+ drop-in in Gosport, a great charity www.squarepegscharity.org supporting people as individuals.
Friday I’m looking forward to meeting with @StephenMorganMP, the MP for Portsmouth South.
*For those of you who are not avid Terry Pratchett fans then please refer to the Borogravian National Anthem in Monstrous Regiment for a little more clarity