It looks like the world is starting to turn again, with some hope coming back along with the sunshine. How did you spend your weekend? Did you get out to meet someone for the first time in months or are you still a homebody? I ventured out to see my grandma for the first time since the start of March, it was simply lovely to connect with her again after only having WhatsApp, her hair the longest it has been since she operated searchlights in North London in WWII she had reached the point where she didn’t want to do face chats. This Saturday I was able to compliment her and perhaps even persuade her that the new length suits her. She was talking about a social event she had recently attended, social distancing is challenging when everyone’s a little hard of hearing, where they were all invited to speak about their lives and achievements. My grandma is amazing, she has grown and changed over the years, become more of an ally, found friends and generally makes the world better for those who meet her and she remains my hope when I get down, when I think that we have reached an impasse of stubborn mindedness. If my grandma at age 97 can be talking about her latest iPhone then anyone of any age can adapt and change if they have good reason to. Back in 2014 grandma happened to talk about Pride in London and how she’d watched it on TV and I was able to tell her that I’d been in the parade, a risk since up to that point she’d never given me any reason to think that she would accept or understand queerness, now she watches it to see if she can see me (ha, unlikely) and proudly talks about the work I do to her friends.
I have felt more charged and energised over the last couple of weeks than in a long time, going to so many amazing Pride events, checking in with family, oh and playing D&D, all ways that I’m staying connected. How about you?
Your charity is doing so well, now that supervision for the month is over I can say with confidence that we have provided over 120 counselling sessions, 15 support groups, more than 100 individual chats, had four T&Q coffee mornings and started our Workshops series this month. Check out our events calendar to see what’s coming up and Maximillan’s blogs to see how they are going.
This blog is all full of the positive – thank you so much to Lucy who raised £142.34 during an online streaming event, every pound raised for Chrysalis makes a difference, for £20 you have covered access to four sessions of counselling, two support groups, four workshops and lots of one to one support for someone who is struggling financially. Lucy has raised enough to help six people, that’s six lives that will be changed for the better, connected up with forever friends, full of new information and given space to determine their own truths and authenticity. Check out Lucy on Twitter to find out more and get involved with her next streaming event.
Last week I joined our trustee Paul Draycott, Sarb and the NHS Southern Health team at their virtual pride, talking about Chrysalis, of course, but more than that connecting with people who I would have said ‘hi’ to at a physical Pride. I came third in the quiz too, a slightly better showing than at the Chrysalis Virtual Pride, so clearly I’m learning something! Full marks however go to the special guests who treated us to a rendition of the Spice Girls because everyone is missing that aspect of Pride too! Thursday was about Pride too as I met with Tally from Portsmouth Pride, another opportunity to talk about your favourite charity and what the reality is about reform of the Gender Recognition Act (hint it’s a way to make a small number of people’s lives better without any impact on anyone else’s). If you want to get the real lowdown then go and watch our conversation. If you are wanting to take action, especially if you’ve already got the ear of your MP then apply the pressure to get them to publish the results of the consultation.
Last week was very much about looking to the future. Looking towards a time when we can perhaps get back to seeing each other and this time we have a chance to prepare. If you want to get involved in the next stage of Chrysalis’ development then watch your inbox for an invitation to our facilitated dialogue: Beyond Lockdown – how can Chrysalis coexist with Covid-19 a three hour event where we look at bringing back face to face work and carrying on the amazing online work we have started, hosted by Joanne Lockwood of See Change Happen. Chrysalis is a charity of transition, how can we not grow and develop with every change. We went into lockdown stronger than ever, we have grown incredibly during the last 14 weeks and now here’s a great opportunity to build on that success and make sure that everyone who wants to be heard in that development can be.
In other news watch this space for an incredible new development about trans healthcare in Hampshire, the next trustee meeting, what’s happening in Dorset and most importantly for right now – the Tour de Trans pRride Along event on Sunday 16th August in Southampton. Come and cheer our riders as they cycle down the Avenue and along East Park Terrace, get on your bike for a celebratory (slow) lap around Southampton, listen to some tunes from the amazing Hunting Hearts and get your flags out!
What’s on for this week? Planning all those fantastic things. Dawn and I have a whole day set aside tomorrow to rearrange the world. Thursday I’m meeting with trustee Jon to talk about finances and then Friday the most exciting thing ever, well if you’re a geek like me, the office team are getting together to move onto stage II of the implementation of our Client Relations Management (CRM) software project. Oooh! I’m excited just thinking about all the stats I’ll be able to access at a moments notice, at the ways that we’ll be able to communicate with you and yep how easy it will be to set up fundraisers for your favourite charity.