I know, blog is supposedly a day late, sorry, and all that. But yes, I was busy yesterday, very sore when I got back, which is why you’re getting this tonight, as work was a no go today, but thankfully the hours from yesterday sort of make up for that.
Yesterday’s trip out actually began, and ended with something that was not out of the ordinary, Trans Pennine Express trains running very late, to, and from Manchester. If I say the departures/arrivals, the closest to punctuality was 7 minutes, you get my drift!
As stated in the previous blog, my first ever Civil Service Conference was related to LGBT issues, so no shock there. The toilets were strictly gender neutral, but yes, the women all stuck to the ladies, and the men to the gents side. Hardly surprising given we cant use urinals, lol! But a lovely gesture, all the same.
The first talk was a pair of people from the Welsh Government Civil Service, and their thriving LGBT section, and the work they do. Very good, very impressive, and just showed how much my department has to do if we’re going to get Stonewall awards too. Got some good tips about what we might want to do, at least.
Talking of Stonewall, our next speaker was actually representing them, giving us lots of useful information on what they do, what they can do to help us improve our diversity standings, and what we could get involved in, if we wanted to, which is probably more useful for London folk, than us a long way from town, but still stuff for us.
Then into the first panel discussion of the day, which was interesting to listen to, though you can never be sure if leaders are saying what they think, or what they think we want to hear? Probably just being cynical on that front, but I’ve been there so often in my life, probably just me jaded by bosses at my previous job, who wouldnt have known what Diversity & Inclusion was, if it had bitten them on their backsides!
After lunch we broke off into selected rooms, for various sessions. Firstly I went with my own department Pride group, who were looking for suggestions on ways to improve matters, both for members, and those of us on committees, and groups as well.
My second session was in the same room (tactical health planning, lol), and was 2 Team Leaders advising us on how they dealt with someone who transitioning in their section. Now, without wishing to show bias, I would say the TL’s at my place handled it with me in a far better way. Mind, I guess its easier when someone has already transitioned, not transitioning in that role, but anyway…
Lastly, I went to a heart rending session, which was a Trans male, writing to his younger self, about what was going to happen in the rest of his life. I could relate to this so easily, because other than a reversal of genders, it was pretty much my story too.
After that, a different panel, for another panel discussion, which summed up the day, and yes, confirmed what a great success it was. We had a good split on the LGBT rainbow, and allies there, which was a good sign. What I did realise, and that Stonewall had mentioned can be an issue, was just how ‘white’ the room was. Hopefully, the next time, assuming there is one (and there should be), we can get a little more widespread representation on that front at least.
But was it a worthwhile event, absolutely, and praise goes to all who helped to arrange it, especially Rachel, who did incredible stuff, just to get this on. Who knows, maybe the next time, I’ll be one of the speakers, or presenters, we will see. But put it this way, I will, if I can!
Oh, and if any readers came out yesterday, on ‘World Coming Out Day’, I say congratulations, and wish you well for your future.
OK, video time. Showing my age, as this is 48 years old! And before anyone says this isnt Brotherhood Of Man, because they know the Eurovision group, you’re right, this is an entirely different line up, but they predate the other line up by about 6 years, but given these were all session singers… they needed replacements, lol