I am regularly asked to speak publicly about my transgender journey and it’s something that I am very comfortable with and always happy to do. I give a full and frank account of my rollercoaster of a journey to be able to live my truth as the woman I have always been, but never allowed to show, after 48 years of pretending to be male. I also speak about the difficult decisions surrounding my photography and video business which is named after my old (male) name. I am happy to take questions from the audience too – no matter how personal! I use plenty of humour in my presentations as I feel it is essential to entertain as well as to inform. Presentations can be done either in person or virtually.
I am available for inspirational speaking slots, after dinner speaking engagements and educational talks for conferences, companies, associations, business groups, hospitals, councils, schools, colleges and universities (to both staff and students). In fact, to anyone who wants to listen! I am also happy to be a guest speaker for panel discussions as I feel that the more trans people who are prepared to stand up and be counted, the better. We shouldn’t hide ourselves away as we have nothing to be ashamed of. I am proud of everything I have achieved and the decisions I have made, so I’m not hiding anywhere!
While my story can be emotional in some parts, in the main, it is very positive, humorous and upbeat. After all, I am so much happier now I can be the real me. I’m loving my new life!
I base my presentations on my own personal story, but I can tailor them to fit in with any particular theme or message you wish to convey. Here are some presentations that I regularly deliver:
My Long Walk to Womanhood (approx 30 minutes)
This is the raw and honest story of my transgender transition. It works well on its own as I am regularly told that it’s inspirational, educational and funny. It is the most powerful section upon which all my other presentations are built. It can be performed either with or without slides to any size of audience. It was recently described as “a masterclass in storytelling” and “Inspirational storytelling at its best.”
My Long walk to Womanhood + Q&A (approx 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the number of questions)
As above plus a Q&A session. This is a safe space where the audience can ask me anything! I am always happy to extend the Q&A session if there are lot of questions (subject to fitting in with the client’s schedule of course) for no extra charge.
What’s it like to be transgender? And how can I support those who are? (approx.1 hour to 1.5 hours, depending on number of questions)
This is my most popular presentation. It gives the audience a very real appreciation for what life is like for trans people and practical tips for being an ally. It can be performed to any size of audience, large or small. However, the larger the audience, the less chance each person will have to ask a question. For virtual audiences of more than 20 people, questions would have to be asked via the chat facility (rather than verbally) for the host to read out to me. While this session is generally around 1 hour in length, if there are lots of questions it can go up to 1.5 hours if you wish to let it run for longer. It was recently described as “the most interesting webinar so far and definitely the funniest”.
The presentation consists of the following sections:
- My Long Walk to Womanhood
- Top tips for being a trans ally
Positively Managing Change: A Very Personal Journey (approx 1 hour to 1.5 hours, depending on number of questions)
This presentation is themed around how I handled such a major change in my life and my business. This fits in very well with business conferences and groups as business owners regularly have to manage change, whether it is forced on them or something of their making. It can be performed to any size of audience. However, the larger the audience, the less chance each person will have to ask a question. For virtual audiences of more than 20 people, questions would have to be asked via the chat facility (rather than verbally) for the host to read out to me. While this session is generally around 1 hour in length, if there are lots of questions it can go up to 1.5 hours if you wish to let it run for longer. It consists of the following sections:
- My Long Walk to Womanhood
- The 13 emotional stages of change
Preventing Trans Discrimination at Work Workshop (approx. 1 hour)
Aimed at diversity & inclusion managers, HR managers and training managers, this short workshop gives a very real appreciation of what it’s like to be trans and the participants will leave with actionable ideas for preventing trans discrimination in their workplace. It can be performed to any size of audience, but I recommend a maximum number of 20 people for maximum involvement. The presentation consists of the following sections:
- My long walk to womanhood
- Why is trans awareness training needed? (includes examples of cases where employers have got it wrong)
- Group discussion on ideas to help prevent trans discrimination in the workplace
Longer, more comprehensive trans awareness training sessions are also available.
While my presentations are usually a lot longer than this, here is a 5 minute presentation I did in 2019 for DisruptHR Cambridge called “Hiring trans People: what are you so afraid of?” It was a tricky one to do as I had to present without notes or a screen in front of me and what I said had to fit the 20 slides which were programmed to rotate automatically every 15 seconds as clickers were not allowed with their format. Also, telling my story briefly in the 2.5 minutes allotted for that section was a real challenge as it usually takes me around 30 minutes to do it justice. It was not for the faint-hearted!
I am a woman on a mission! But not just any woman and not just any mission…
Being an openly transgender woman and a trans ambassador, I am on a mission to not only show that it’s OK to be trans, but it’s actually cool to be trans too!
Through my media appearances, public speaking engagements, blog, vlog, social media, trans awareness training courses and via support groups, my aim is to reach out to trans people who may be struggling with their gender identity, to reassure them and to lead by example. I want to help educate the general public too. The more people who are educated about trans issues, the greater the acceptance and the easier it will be for trans people to live their lives in peace. Most bigotry and prejudice comes from ignorance and fear of the unknown. Education can and does save lives.