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TNBake, this year’s summer fun-draiser

Beyond Reflections helps people to break down the barriers of isolation. What better a way to do that than over tea and cake? This year our summer fundraiser is all about getting together with your friends and colleagues and sharing quality time and quality cake together. We’re asking you to host your own #TNBake event, bake and sell cakes, and raise funds so that we can continue to provide our wellbeing support services to transgender and non-binary adults, their family and friends. Use the power of food to break down the barriers of isolation.

Simply sign up at the link below and we will email you our digital fundraising pack with all the info you need to host your own wonderful tea party.

Why a summer fundraiser?

Beyond Reflections needs money. Without your support we will not be able to go on delivering our life changing services. Your donations go to helping us support more people, open more groups, recruit more volunteers.

Our summer fundraisers are designed to get you out of your house, to bring people together, and to empower everyone to socialise and feel good about themselves. We want everyone to experience a bit of that Beyond Reflections spirit of love and acceptance for themselves and others.

What we’ve done before

Two years ago, the incredible Paeton opened our horizons with her epic Tour de Trans, her ride across Britain, across genders. Her physical prowess and our fantastic social media team brought us friends, connections, and donations …

“TNBake, this year’s summer fun-draiser”

The best ally is a friend

Have you noticed how much easier it is to ask for something for a person you like? How friendship overcomes so many barriers?

A friend is “a person with whom one has a bond of mutual affection”. Someone you trust and whose responses you can predict. The language of friendship is inclusive: all friends are allies, although not all allies are friends. The word ‘friend’ doesn’t need a qualifier, a justification. Whether or not one is trans+ does not change the amount of affection and support you give and receive for friends

Trans+ allies are often professionals, influencers, and politicians. Many fight for diversity and inclusion tirelessly. These allies might be able to change the world but when you’re feeling low, they’re not going to be the person you message.

The feeling of friendship

You do things for your friends because it makes them happy. Have you noticed you smile more in the company of friends? The science says that is because being in safe, supportive relationships releases endorphins. I just like that it feels nice.

Our friends are our first, and best, allies. Good friends see our strengths and weaknesses, they protect our vulnerabilities. When you are trans+ and you come out you need friends. Everyone needs friends. Friends pick you up when you are sad, they speak for you when you have no words. It’s your best friend who notices when you have been absent on social media for a while and drops you a message.

Often, …

“The best ally is a friend”

A cheer for volunteers

Chrysalis exists because of the hard work of all our volunteers. In this week’s blog I would like to introduce you to some of those who provide the backbone of the team. Some of these people have joined us only recently and some have been quietly dedicating hour after hour for years.

Keeping the computer fires burning

Starting from the top I would like to raise a glass to our IT volunteers. The incredible team which maintains the website, upgrades our computers, develops our Office 365 and SharePoint processes, seek out and help implement new software to manage our client records and generally keep our virtual world functioning. This one is for you An, Sammy, Deanna, Alex, and Ross

Amplifying our voice

Have you noticed our wonderful new logos? Having a skilled graphic designer on the team has moved us on from an over reliance on baby pink and blue to something much more nuanced. Robin, I thank you. Your Get Fit for Chrysalis logo is incredible. A design which incorporates all the flags and suggests motion. The magic of talent.

Marketing is getting a lot of attention. An area where Chrysalis has historically been lacking, we now have the dream team. Thanks to Russell, Carla, Callum and Em for your tireless dedication to improving our image and promoting our work. Watch this space for new Chrysalis merchandise and do check out our GF4C t-shirts and hoodies.

Putting in miles, minutes and money

This summer brings us …

“A cheer for volunteers”

Mental Wellbeing Through Exercise

Today’s blog is all about how exercising can help you feel good and help Chrysalis.

Exercise as work

There is lots of information available regarding the physical benefits of exercise. A quick search shows me that to reduce my risk of heart failure or colon cancer I should get fit. Medical professionals want us to live longer and to be physically healthy. Boring! When I am feeling low I struggle to think positively about future me.

Mental wellbeing for all

Humans want to do fun things. We want to do things now. To get immediate rewards, see immediate benefits. Physical health is great but mental wellbeing is essential. Mental wellbeing is about looking after me now.

Perhaps this is a controversial view, but then I run a charity supporting trans, non-binary and questioning people so I am used to taking a different angle on reality.

Healthy relationships help you feel better

People come to Chrysalis to break down the barriers of isolation. To explore their authenticity and to connect with people as their true selves. Our counsellors and facilitators are skilled in building and maintaining healthy relationships. People come to their counselling sessions and the support groups stressed, anxious and sad and leave calmer, smiling, knowing they have been able to offload and be supported.

Not every counselling session or group session is easy, we all have some heavy lifting to do to improve our mental health sometimes but in general people leave feeling happier, more at peace, …

“Mental Wellbeing Through Exercise”

Inclusion only starts with Pride

Force only controls how people act

In preparation for this blog, I viewed the recent assault on young LGBT+ people by the police in Istanbul. A shameful display of the use of force to try to prevent people being authentic. Once you accept the reality that being trans+ is simply an aspect of human diversity you realise that there is no box you can force it back into. All you can do is try to control how people act, you cannot change who they are.

Shame never changed anyone’s mind

This a quote most often used by trainers looking to empower LGBT+ people and their allies to develop understanding in the wider world. We know that if you shout at someone you just invoke the unthinking fight/flight/freeze response. Bypassing the higher thought processes.
As trainers we need to engage with our audiences, those who are already our allies and those who are ready to become allies. We can never know what is going on in their lives, in their minds. What brought them to this place. All we can know is that they are here, present, with us and this is our chance to empower them.

Pride is many things. A corporate beast, a celebration, and an opportunity for protest. Pride raises the lid on the abuse and assault experienced by LGBT+ people around the world. Yet Pride is also the place to showcase positive change. A place for corporates to show colleagues they respect them.

Corporate Pride

I have …

“Inclusion only starts with Pride”

What it means to belong

This week is Trans Awareness Week, a week when trans people and their allies raise awareness of what it is to be trans and some of the challenges that trans people experience in the UK and around the world. The week culminates in Transgender Day of Remembrance on the 20th November, when we gather to remember those whose lives were taken from them through violence in the past year. Each year from 2016 that number has risen, I hope that this year sees a turning point, that now those numbers generated through hate, discrimination, fear and lack of understanding start to drop, that the legacy of 2020 is a move away from division to understanding and acceptance. The tide has started to turn but we are not there yet, this year we need our allies more than ever, we need that groundswell of change to continue, to grow in volume and strength. If you haven’t already done so then get involved with our Fly the Trans Flag campaign, donate and help support your charity. Get your own flag to fly proudly today, tomorrow and all year round.

Inclusion at Uni

Last year I took the Chrysalis roadshow to the University of Portsmouth for their Fresher’s Fair, a great day out flying the trans flag and raising awareness of the importance of inclusion and acceptance. It was here that I spoke with our newest recruit Cas for the first time as well as many others. We gave out pronoun …

“What it means to belong”

Why gender identity matters in 2020

It’s 2020 and the times they are indeed a changing, with Chrysalis leading the way. Today my blog draws together the themes of November. Building that bigger picture of which we are all a part.

Fly the trans flag

If you’ve been following our social media over the last few weeks then you will have seen some of the great ways that you can be an ally, hints and tips that help make someone else’s life that bit easier, that bit better. It can be as simple as getting pronouns right or working behind the scenes to neutralise gendered language in policy documents.

This November marks our third year of the #flythetransflag campain where we give allies the opportunity to shine, to make your voices loud and to show the incredible support and progress that has been made individually, behind the scenes and culturally to trans inclusion, understanding and acceptance.

This lockdown doesn’t mean that you can’t still get involved, this year Chrysalis has been busier than ever and we continue to grow the support we offer, enabling more volunteers to support more people, starting new groups and working hard as ever on making the world a better place. By sharing our posts and donating to the campaign you are flying the flag, showing people that it’s OK to be trans, that being authentic is awesome.

Trans Awareness Week

Flying those flags during trans awareness week (13th to 19th November) is one way that you can take part in educating …

“Why gender identity matters in 2020”

It’s all about the exercise

This week I would like to talk about sports supporter raising money for Chrysalis including London Marathon runner Amy , Paeton and Chris and our trustee Scott as they cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats, our our incredible volunteers such as Olly providing one-to-one chats to keep people connected, and what I am involved with.…

“It’s all about the exercise”

Amy Stricherz supports Chrysalis in the 2020 London Marathon

We are delighted to hear that Amy is supporting Chrysalis at the London Marathon 2020.…

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“Amy Stricherz supports Chrysalis in the 2020 London Marathon”

2019 Bakeoff


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“2019 Bakeoff”

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