By an odd turn of Fate, matters aligned so I could pop out midweek and run another outreach session. This was for a group out of my usual stomping grounds, so I took a chance to be a little more trans visible.
|Meanwhile, in a shop,
somewhere far, far, away
I think there are times when it works to turn up in Richard mode. Partly to go against expectations, but also to show that as a part-timer, there’s a balance to be struck between who we are and maybe turning in bloke mode means people see us more a just another bloke on the street (YATGB or JABOTS? 🙂 ). Having just run the last acronym through a search engine to ensure it’s not something filthy, it turns out that’s a decorative collar attachment made of lace. Ooo, how fancy! 😉
With the kids dropped off at school and some time in the bank from work, I got ready. The September mists drifted, the sun beamed, and the traffic gods smiled. So far, so good. I parked a little way away from the venue, checked my notes, and – of course, my lippy 🙂 – before heading in.
Usually, sessions run for around an hour, sometimes a little more, but with this, the team were engaged, curious, and keen to learn, that we soon hit the two-hour mark. I did an open setup to lead them into topics where we reflected, thought, talked through some handouts, did a few paper-based exercises, and what’s key in such sessions: we listened to each other.
I think that with some events, things can be very one-sided. I’ve been to tech events – and some work gigs in years gone by – where we could have watched a video instead of listen to some person waffle on, sometimes reading out from someone further up the food chain. Yeah, completely unlike this blog where I rap on, yeah? 😉
Anyway – and as you can tell – I’m not a fan of business meetings, so that’s not how I run things. On having done a number of workshops for Chams and task/learning meetings for work, I find that those who I meet, they want to be involved and to interact. If there’s a story, some whiteboard drawing, and/or some hands-on activities going on too, people seem to connect with that. Certainly far more than a certain presentation software package people use. 😉
So, some lovely feedback during and after the session. If things go well, I may be going back to do something similar for another group there. Once the invoice comes in, that’s money for Chameleons, it’s outreach work to help the trans community, and it was time out & about. Plus, it helps push back the worry that I’m not quite doing enough as a T person. All in all, a great way to spend a few hours.