What is in a name?
We ask this question of all attendees at our trans awareness training sessions. For many people this is the first time they have thought in depth about their name and considered how their name informs their identity.
Does your name reflect who you are?
I have written at length about the importance of language and communication within Beyond Reflections. It is crucial to the delivery of our mission that people understand what we do and who we support. We continually review the language we use to make sure it is as inclusive and clear as possible.
Do you own your name?
The process of changing our name began with consultation. I knew that coming to Chrysalis saved the lives of countless members. The non-judgemental, safe space they found within the charity often the first time they heard their true name. The power of transformation created a bond with the charity and the name. Those members owned our name, it was important to respect them and to listen to their history.
Who named you?
Our founders named us, as parents name our members. They chose a name which signified transformation, a change from one state to another. That name resonated with others who also sought to convey the concept of change, and the beauty of the transformed. The word chrysalis used by other counselling organisations and trans organisations across the country.
If you could change your name, would you?
I posed this question first to the staff team, then to the trustees and finally to the wider charity at our most recent Away Day. We explored the reasons to keep the name and our desire to change it. Whilst there were historic and emotive reasons to keep the old name it became clear that to move forward, to become the national charity we plan to be, we would move beyond butterflies.
Does my name define me?
Once we made the decision to change our name we needed to consider if we wanted a name which described what we do, or one which described those we support. We opted for a name which described the work we do, and how we do it.
As a charity delivering mental wellbeing through counselling and facilitated group work, we reflect the authentic person that we see. That reflection empowers the individual to understand themself better, to move beyond the need for our support and into mental wellbeing.
Beyond Reflections describes what we do. Inside that name is the understanding of the beauty of authenticity, the knowledge that not every trans person who seeks our support will need or want to transition and that everyone’s transition is different.
Announcing our name change at the AGM was the culmination of four years hard work. A testament to our founders, our supporters and everyone who has been on this part of our own transition. I love leading this charity and I am looking forward to the next four years together. Delivering on our mission to provide world class support to trans, non-binary and questioning adults across England and Wales.
If you want to get more involved with us, if you want to become the best ally you can be then come and volunteer for us. No matter where you are, no matter what you can do, we would love to welcome you into our Beyond Reflections community. A community where every one of us lives our commitment to respect, accept, include, and empower with integrity.