Talks

Hi,

I think I’m getting rather attached to these short working weeks 😋 More time outside walking with the hounds and the Every Lovely Mrs J. Plus, occasional sunshine and stopping for coffee.

I had Thursday morning off to run an online talk. A local government organisation had got in touch with Chams a few months back and asked for a workshop. After quizzing them about their needs and hopes about the session, we agreed a two hour event and that’s helped put some money in the group’s bank account.

I’m never quite sure how such things will go and there was the usual touch of middle class guilt about hoping said customers would get their money’s worth. However, such worries came to naught as the group were interested, chatty, and involved. I had some slides PPT together to give us some inspiration, but usually, once you draw folk in and they feel safe to talk, discussion begins.

While it feels good to help the group out financially, it’s so much more than that. I feel you are helping folk shape their policies towards better rights for trans people, and you give them a space where they can ask anything. The point is to satisfy their curiosity or their concerns in a non hostile way. It feels like a win for all parties.

To a large extent, you are pushing on an open door as folk who attend such things tend to be open minded and want to learn more. Yes, there are some difficult questions, but – and thankfully – I’ve yet to hear any outright hostility or disrespectful comments to colleagues.

Plus, you get to hear firsthand the thoughts and concerns non trans folk have. Hearing such things is great when it’s done with kindness and curiosity. Much better than the win/lose of social media, IMO. With that in mind, it’s not about X is right, Y is wrong, but looking behind those worries or being able to explore then safely. That and, as I often say, we’re more alike as people than some would have us think. Our stories as humans have a lot of commonality, even if each person who shares is unique.

L x

10 Comments

  1. I feel we learn as much from such discussions as the people we talk to. At least that’s my own experience from some of our Pride coffee mornings.

      1. That the whole non-binary thing and the different pronouns around it is confusing and also worrying to a number of people even in this group of LGBT+ members and allies, and therefore likely to be even more so outside.

        1. With non-binary, an attendee asked if others felt that have trans people (if we use trans as an umbrella term) more options. She added that by more options, I meant there was more than transition yes/no and also more than MASC/femme.

  2. Any forum where people can learn what trans people actual are instead of the gross caricature presented by news organs such as the Daily Wail is a good idea.

  3. I might be everso slightly jealous that you got to do that online talk! That’s education at its most raw and powerful – everyone learning and directly affecting things almost in real time! It is a powerful part to play and so affecting and effective!

    Obligatory sentence that is not exclaimed.

    Great that you have had some shorter work weeks (they are, absolutely, the future)!

    1. Such events – and they are quite rare – are indeed a gift. I think that’s the first one in three years. The pandemic put so much on hold.

      Teaching runs in the Jones family, although I didn’t take that route. Possibly due to academic shortcomings.

      But, the proclivity to teaching, the coaching stuff I did through work, help from a friend around psychology, and the wish to help out at Chams; all of that mixes together. So, a mix that makes me enjoy such events and, fingers crossed, helps those events go well.

  4. Thank you for doing such talks, Lynn. They take effort. I think they are an important interface with the interested/concerned public and when an attendee leaves thinking “well, that trans person was all right so maybe they’re all all right”, then it’s a win for our community. Sue x

    1. They’re a pleasure to do, Sue. The people who approach the group are looking for advice and guidance. So, I guess we’re leaning on an open door. That’s not to say there’s not difficult questions – asked kindly, yes, but difficult to answer.

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