I can't believe it is almost a year since I started my new business (Gendercare). I was a little apprehensive setting out on this journey, especially at 58 years young. I knew from previously running a business for 17 years before my gender transition that it would not be easy but could be very rewarding. But ultimately it was a undoubtedly a journey!
I spent the first few months developing workshops and trainings and planning them into the year. I contacted services that might find my services helpful and shared my details with them. I developed (with the help from the best of friends) a website of which I certainly had no previous experience in developing but which has had very positive feedback (www.gendercare.ie). I spent the first few months checking and double checking my emails, hoping for contact from services and people that wanted to use Gendercare, and it was certainly a concerning period for me.
In March I delivered my first virtual training and in May my first in person one and things were starting to look more positive. In June I was busy for the first time since leaving my previous job and the tension that I had was starting to ease a little, as I believed in myself a little more. I also delivered my first full day Gender Identity Training in Dublin and started the evaluation process to help me understand better what people need to know, and for me to be better able to meet their needs. It was a huge success, thankfully!!
July, is my Camino de Santiago month and off I went to Galicia to walk in the opposite direction to Gijon in the Asturias. It was a strange Camino for me walking against the other walkers and it was more challenging not to have the opportunity to develop relationships along the way. I decided to do this to challenge myself, to make myself feel uncomfortable, to know that I had the resilience to get to my intended destination, to achieve!!
I returned to a flood of work, my client base was increasing, the call for trainings was becoming more frequent and I felt myself fall in love with my Gendercare (I am very strange). I believed in Gendercare, I wanted it to survive and thrive and provide the best support, advice and care to my wonderful clients. Gendercare is nothing without them.
The last few days I have been looking back at the last year and especially the evaluations from the in-person trainings. I was over the moon to see that the feedback was very encouraging and that the measurable outcomes robustly show that the participants were in a better place to ensure that their service was trans inclusive and that they were more empowered to deliver a better service to trans people and their families. I have included 2 of the graphs in this post. Here is some of the participant comments:
Fantastic day, best training ever!
Excellent, excellent, you are amazing, thank you!
Greater understanding of the complexities
Beautifully balance of knowledge, experience, information and insight.
I found your presentation very moving and your sensitivity in sharing your own experience is very powerful.
Vanessa thank you. Exceptionally insightful, interesting and engaging day.
Enjoyed the training so much – one of the best trainings I have ever attended.
This was a very ‘real’ day given from a lived experience.
So engaging. Excellent presenter. The most enjoyable training I have ever been on.
Wonderful open day, lovely flow of discussion.
Transgender training, very balanced, informative and inspiring.
Such expertise from you Vanessa and shared in a very comfortable, safe and respectful way.
Brilliant training. Very compassionate and practicable in approaches, thank you!!