What it means to be a ‘New Business of the Year’ finalist for trans inclusive spaces and equity building in 2023
(Photo credits below)
To a crowd of almost 800 peers, I listened as the sponsor announced Simply Good Form Inc., as one of the five finalists at the Halifax Chamber of Commerce business awards on January 26th, and my legs were shaking in my sparkly boots. Feeling a little like I’m suspended in space; my upper lip was quivering, like it does when you’re stuck holding a smile for too long. I tried looking natural. Whatever ‘natural’ means?
But then, for just a moment, I was like, ‘Huh?, I’m confused. Had I heard it wrong?’
The description they read wasn’t exactly correct.
SGF was described as being a team of ‘100% trans and non-binary professionals.’
Most people likely missed hearing it. But I didn’t. In my line of work – and navigating gender identity inclusion as a cisgender professional and ally, it’s essential it’s accurate.
Sitting at our two tables of 12, I kind of froze and thought, ‘Well, some friends out there are going to feel a little confused.‘
But more than that: this was a time for folks to gain a glimpse into the ‘WHO and WHY’ of SGF and I couldn’t help but wonder if, somewhere along the line, ‘Did I fail to convey an accurate picture of who we are?’
So, if you were in the room last week, and are perhaps wondering,
‘Who is Simply Good Form?’
1. I’m cis. Our team is not.
(I help people understand what that means; why they need to know what it means as a business professional working in our communities; and also as a human being who wants to simply do better.)
2. I educate, mostly to cisgender professionals.
(But also Queer professionals within these organizations, business, schools; because when you’ve lacked visibility and representation for decades upon decades… there’s a lot of collaborative and mutual learning to benefit from. It’s a journey. I’m also an inclusive children’s author and a podcaster). SGF training programs are for everyone. Our social-outreach is community-focused.
3. I educate alongside trans and non-binary leaders with diverse experience and perspectives. Meet the team below!
4. I do my best to provide a platform to elevate voices and representation from within the trans community. (Click the Pic to watch Differo Moon Landing SGF Vid)
5. I ensure a portion of all our client-based work is used to create and deliver socially-focused, accessible programming and resources for the QT and LGB+ community. We welcome collaboration and sponsorship opportunities and make it easy for you to be intentional allies all year long!
6. As they say, ‘there is no ‘i’ in ‘team’ and none of what I do would warrant a nomination or being in this space if wasn’t for the incredible team at SGF, who are 100% lived-experience, community members. We pride ourselves on our approachable, engaging culture and this is a piece of what sets us apart. Our ever-expanding collaborative voices is also pretty special.
We are a bridge beyond binary thought-processes
Beyond binary communication plagued with presumptions that diminishes those around you.
Let us be your bridge.
I stand proud knowing our holistic, people-centric approach improves and save lives. The conversations we are having invariably impacts lives and it’s my sincere privilege to be part of it, alongside the ever-positive, charismatic and deeply insightful, Isaac and Emma (Photo L-R Isaac, Cyn and Emma) and the many incredible folks from coast-to-coast we’ve had the pleasure to work with along our growth trajectory.
I am the mother of a trans child.
They are actually a teen. But I’ll never forget the path they navigated too young, as a child; steep, dark, dangerous. Invisible.
Recognition as a 2023 finalist means more connection with professionals and educators in businesses and schools like yours.
It means more outreach for families navigating a vast space I know all too well.
On behalf of our team, we are thankful for the honour of being named a finalist.
Each and every connection enriches my life.
Thank you Halifax Chamber of Commerce for helping to fuel our rockets and creating spaces for entrepreneurs and game-changes to gather and shine.
If you’re reading this, I hope we will connect with you. Gratitude to you for engaging.
Let’s shift the narrative,
PS A wholehearted CONGRATULATIONS to Nancy and ESG. I am grateful for the opportunity to meet Nancy and get to know her a little throughout the event lead-up. Well win!
Everyone in our category is remarkable and it’s been an honour to stand alongside them. I encourage you to check them out:
New Business of the Year: ESG Partners Inc.
Photography by the incredible artist Alvero Wiggins, Abstract Vision Photography & Videography
Main photo: SGF Team, colleagues, family and friends gather at the Halifax Chamber Business Awards to support Simply Good Form.
Photo of Cyn and her son: Lindsay Doyle