Cameron (they/them) reflects on their second Family Day as a volunteer with Mermaids.
It’s the night before my second Mermaids’ Family Day. I am sitting snug on a couch with a cup of tea and some trifle, watching the Barbie movie with another Mermaids volunteer, her partner and their dogs.
It seems unthinkable at this point that I had only met these people for the first time just a few hours earlier. It felt like I was reconnecting with some old friends, or that despite never having actually met before, we had always been connected in some way.
This feeling of connection and belonging would turn out to be a theme of the Family Day to come.
The morning session provided the chance for young trans people and their families to interact and have fun, playing games in a supportive and judgement free zone. It was joyous to experience young trans people coming out of their shells.
At lunch, we recorded a video about how I feel about volunteering at Mermaids. It was wonderful to have a chance to reflect on the impact that a charity like Mermaids can have, and the small role I can play in it.
@mermaidsgender Cameron (they/them) explains what they love about being a volunteer at Mermaids. #volunteer #volunteertok #charity #charitytok #nonbinary #trans #transgender #pride ♬ Storytelling – Adriel
It also provided an opportunity to interact with other volunteers and parents about issues that affect LGBTQIA+ people. We spoke of changing gender on official documents, LGBTQIA+ experiences with adoption, shame, inner child healing and much more.
It was so liberating to have the opportunity to discuss LGBTQIA+ issues in a safe environment with other like-minded people.
By the afternoon session, the nerves of meeting new people in an unfamiliar environment had melted away. It seemed like even just for this short period, a weight had been lifted from everyone’s shoulders.
They had found a space where they were free to be themselves. The parents, young people and volunteers were united in representing all the colours of the rainbow with hair paint, makeup (from the fabulous MAC artists), glitter tattoos and balloons.
Then it was time to take part in the trans and non-binary role model panel. This event had filled me with nerves and a significant amount of trepidation – I had never thought of myself as a role model before! Despite this, I fought my way past imposter syndrome, and spoke openly of my experiences as a non-binary person.
The panel represented a wide range of people from the trans community and it was so interesting to hear the experiences of others. The panel really highlighted the beauty that can be found in the experiences of LGBTQIA+ people. I felt validated in my experiences and more connected to the trans community.
With so many barriers to health, well-being and social acceptance for the trans community, it was so nice to come together for a day and focus on having fun and being ourselves. It was a beautiful experience, and I was honoured that I could play a part in it.