Changing a life, a standing ovation and a protest at Downing Street. Welcome to my life!
I had two busy days in London this week. Firstly, I was brought in as an inspirational speaker at Power Up 2022, a coaching event organised by executive coach Kelly Swingler, designed to help delegates to reach their true potential. They were a very friendly and appreciative audience and at the end of my session, I was highly flattered to receive a standing ovation. Afterwards, several delegates thanked me, but I was particularly humbled when a man approached me and told me that I had changed his life that day!
Afterwards Kelly wrote this glowing recommendation on LinkedIn: “Katie is an open, honest and authentic speaker who brings humour, energy and lightness to her inspirational and educational talk. She’s able to engage audiences in a truly wonderful and captivating way and is a shining light when on the stage. I’ve heard Katie before and invited her to speak at Power Up 2022 where her talk was received with admiration and love. I’d highly recommend Katie as a speaker for any event.”
After my stint at Power Up 2022, I hot-footed it over to Downing Street to join the “Not Safe To Be Me” protest, in an attempt to counter some of the trans-hostile noise that is coming from our current government. Although I couldn’t make it for the start of the protest as I was still delivering my talk at that point, I decided it was better late than never and the protest would probably last for around four hours anyway. The protest was originally going to be in Parliament Square, with a back-up of St. James’ Park in case the Police wouldn’t allow the protest in the first choice location. When I arrived in Parliament Square there was no sign of the protest, so I headed off for St. James’ Park. However, when I got there, the protest was nowhere to be seen, but it is a large park, so I started walking purposefully through the park, banner in hand and dragging my suitcase behind me, finding myself being drawn to any gathering of people. I tried phoning some friends who were at the protest, but my calls just went to voicemail. I assumed that the protest was noisy so they wouldn’t have heard their phones ringing. Eventually, when I was at the opposite end of the huge park, one of my friends phoned me and told me that the protest was in Whitehall, at the end of Downing Street, which was not far from my starting point, so back I went. Nice park though. I eventually caught up with the protest three hours after it started, but at least I had made the effort to turn up, even if I did feel a tad overdressed for a protest in my smart dress and jacket combo. I doubt our protest will make much difference with the government though, as they are proved that they are not in listening mode when it comes to trans rights, but it felt good to at least try to reverse the damage they are doing.
I stayed overnight in London as I had another speaking gig down there in the late afternoon. It’s always dangerous when I find myself with time to kill in a big city before a gig or a flight as I start spending money. I only bought three lipsticks this time though, so I think I was very restrained. Last time, I bought a beautiful Kate Spade handbag. My bank account was spared by the discovery of a fantastic pop-up LGBTQIA+ centre on the South side of Blackfriars Bridge, as I thought I would drop in there for a cuppa and a chat. Prior to the start of my transition, I would never have dropped into such a place as I didn’t think it would be for me, but now, I love being part of the LGBTQIA+ community as there is so much love and respect for each other, along with a healthy dollop of camaraderie as we seek strength in numbers by joining together against those who seek to oppress us. It’s like being held in a big, warm queer hug. I soon made several new friends with who I enjoyed a good old chinwag with my tea. I am starting to feel sorry for straight, cisgender (non-trans) people, as they don’t have such friendly places to drop in and to instantly make new friends. Poor things!
After lunch at Pizza Express (which included a guilt-inducing and very yummy dessert which will not help in my quest to get back into some of my dresses that have decided to reject me after my lack of exercise since the start of lockdown), it was time to head off for my next speaking gig. This time, it was an inspirational speaking slot for a staff summer party at a healthcare company. My talks always include bags of humour as well as being educational, so I am often brought in as the entertainment with a serious inclusion message. It seemed to hit the spot, as loads of people were extremely complimentary afterwards.
I finally arrived back home at around 10pm, tired but very happy with the thought of all the hearts and minds I managed to win over during my latest trip to the capital.
Please CONTACT ME if you are interested in booking me as a humorous and educational inspirational speaker for your event.