Express and Explore

Happy Monday! Did you enjoy the fireworks over the weekend? There were some pretty amazing displays across the county brightening things up as the nights draw in.

Today marks the first full week of Chrysalis’ new year, thanks to Kevan for his work on our statistics. I know Chrysalis volunteers are working hard delivering meetings across Hampshire and Dorset but it is great to see this backed up by numbers showing an increase in attendances, significantly at our Portsmouth&Fareham Significant Other’s Parents group; at the Basingstoke Gender Exploration group (see below for musing on words) and at Southampton Wellbeing. A special thank you to Nina, Hannah, Imale, Alan and Max for everything they have done to make these groups the place to be.

A new year means that I have used up my annual leave and I’m back! No more super extended long weekends, no more typing this blog on my phone and subjecting you all to endless typos.
If you want to get involved with the Chrysalis Social Media project then email the office on info@chrysalis-gii.org with a bit of information about what you can offer and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can and please keep sharing the campaign www.justgiving.com/campaign/TDOR2018 lets get all our allies shouting about it.

So what have I been up to? Well Tuesday was a family trip to Brighton, wandering the Lanes; poking in second hand shops and photographing street art was exactly what we all needed for a bit of a recharge. Wednesday I took my grandma to have a look at a retirement place. Between you and me I’m pretty sure she’s not going to go for it, she likes her independence (who doesn’t) but it’s important to keep your options open, yes? Oh but it would be very nice if she was that close. My conversations with grandma over the years, as I got more involved with LGBT+ support and awareness raising, have been great, at 96 she is not afraid to change her perceptions, to think of the people rather than the bigotry and she’s been thoroughly enjoying watching Butterfly and discussing it with me.

Thursday was the official launch of and the quarterly facilitator’s meeting. I am honoured to have such a dedicated team, we were still hard at work on rebranding the transition group at 8pm on a long dark night. The exact words aren’t quite there but we know the Wellbeing trans+ group on Thursday is about freedom of gender expression; a beneficiary led, social, open and relaxed space for all trans+ people and the Friday trans+ group is a structured space for those committed to exploring their gender identity through counselling, workshops and group work.

Friday was volunteer one-to-ones and a trip up to Basingstoke for their Explore group meeting and a great talk about being trans and of faith.

Sunday was CN Lester’s talk at The Railway in Winchester, it was great to be in such a positive space. So many allies wanting to make clear statements of inclusivity.

Monday today is the day! It really is! I’m rather excited because today we should take the next big step towards Office 365 (working IT is simply the best). Thanks to Jo, Deanna, Andy and Sammy for their work behind the scenes.

Tuesday is meetings in Portsmouth day, working on developing our support in the city and establishing the Express and Explore groups. TransExpress – humn, not sure that works…

Wednesday a significant meeting with the West Hants NHS Mental Health group where I have 30 minutes to talk about terminology, Chrysalis and being trans+ in the NHS. Me? Be brief? We shall see.

Thursday I’m meeting another MP, this time Caroline Noakes the MP for Romsey and Southampton North and then a meeting with the Teddy Bear Trust looking at our support in the north east of the county.

Friday currently only has one meeting in it, but there’s a funding application deadline looming so I’m going to be busy.