It was with both shock and great sadness when I heard that Lizzie Vaughan, one of our Oasis ladies, had passed away.
Lizzie first contacted Oasis around August 2015, and arranged to meet at the Bicycle Shop in Norwich.
She wanted to join our group desperate to express her female side, which she had hidden for so long, initially with a view, then to be a bridesmaid at a friend’s wedding.
From our first meeting Lizzy was a bubbly, joyful person and a great asset to our group.
She stayed with us at Oasis for several years, attending when she could and building her confidence. She embarked on her transition journey and became involved in Norwich Pride and the Pride Choir and was out and proud.
Her thespian yearning led her to the Sewell Barn Theatre, as an actress of many roles as well as backstage and front of house. It was always nice to see her from behind the bar on my many visits to various productions.
We only chatted a few weeks ago when she was performing with the Pride Choir at the Stody Lodge Rainbow Day in May.
Oasis sends love and affection to all her friends and family in this difficult time.
She was a one in a million and will be greatly missed. It is a very sad day for our LGBT community.
As I arrived in the sunshine, to the May Oasis meeting, it felt as if I had gone back in time to 1940’s wartime in East Anglia. I was dressed as an evacuee, having to leave Skirt-on-Thames in London, after Germany invaded Poland, along with many thousand others to the safety of the countryside to meet our host family. I had my suitcase, gas mask and favourite teddy Bobby.
I was greeted by an american MP (military police), called John. He towered over me, he was a big man with a big truncheon! Also there was a Lieutenant Commander of the Royal Navy, his brass buttons glittering in the sun.
On entering the hall, I was greeted by both civilian and military people, mainly ladies, because their men folk were off fighting for King and Country. Our 1940 themed evening is always very popular and this one is no exception.
We welcomed two guests, Chloe and Sara from the UEA Feminist Book Club, who had chosen to raise money for Oasis, on the merits of an excellent website. We were so pleased to have been chosen and after our street party evening meal they presented the donation to Geri, who during the war worked on her lathe in the Royal Ordnance Factory machining breech rings for the war effort.
After this came the best dressed 1940’s competition. The assembled participants, 8 in all, parade in front of the street party and the judges pronounced their results.
Rachel, from the French Resistance, and Lilly in a stylist outfit were runners up, with Geri, the ordnance machinist winning the competition. A range of vintage 1940’s prizes were distributed.
Reeling from the success of their first LGBT garden day in association with the 10th anniversary of Norwich Pride, on Saturday 25th May Stody Lodge put all their efforts into providing an action packed LGBT Rainbow Garden Day.
Just as much planning had taken place to ensure everyone knew what they were bringing for the picnic lunch. So @ 12 noon, 12 of us sat down to a meal fit for us Queens. It was nice to see Angela again from Transhaven with her friend Melissa. Oasis had a 200% increase in numbers compared to last year with 10 of us.
After a hearty picnic lunch, with lots of chatter we made our way to the main house gardens to listen the events of the afternoon, including the Pride Choir.
I had been asked by Kate, the owner of Stody, if I would do a talk, so after a lot of thought about what I might talk about the answer came to me. I’d talk about what I knew the most about, ME, and how OASIS had saved me. (Click on this link to read the my talk transcript)
Surprisingly it went very well, and thanks to my Oasis colleagues for their supportive applause, and I didn’t have to pay them! Many came forward to say how close my story reflected theirs.
The rest of the afternoon was spent chatting over refreshments and rainbow cake, to raise money for Norwich Pride 2019, or visiting the Azalea water garden and taking the requisite selfies, with all of us, including Lauren, another Transhaven lady, ending up back where we all started our picnic with strawberries and cream and final farewells.
We look forward to the LGBT Rainbow Day in 2020.
Transgender no longer recognised as ‘disorder’ by WHO
Transgender health issues will no longer be classified as mental and behavioural disorders under big changes to the World Health Organization’s global manual of diagnoses.
The newly-approved version instead places issues of gender incongruence under a chapter on sexual health.
A World Health Organization expert said it now understands transgender is “not actually a mental health condition”.
Human Rights Watch says the change will have a “liberating effect worldwide”.
Click on this link or the image to read the report on the BBC website.