Diary Meets… Gaynor Mary Warren-Wright
Our lovely friend and patient of the practice Gaynor Mary Warren-Wright sat down with the wonderful team at the Estates Gazette – Diary Meets, to talk about the response to her previous article Finding Gaynor, diversity within the surveying industry and updates on her new life. Below are a few excerpts from that interview.
Question: In November last year, you and your good friend Nicholas Cheffings wrote a very powerful article for us, “Finding Gaynor”, about your experience with gender dysphoria and your transition. What was the response like?
Answer: If I start by saying what I expected it to be, I was somewhat nervous. We expected to receive abuse and offensive remarks. But what actually happened was beyond my greatest expectations. I received an enormous outpouring of support, both from the property industry and from other parts of the trans community, where the article was reproduced, and in the construction industry where it was also reproduced by Constructing Rainbows. It has unwittingly opened me up as being a role model, which I really didn’t expect, but I have embraced. I’ve been asked to speak by a number of large companies on diversity, equality and inclusion, and have had a number of people contacting me over their own same issues. For myself, mentally, it was an absolutely brilliant action to take. I decided to take it simply because, if I saved one person from self-harming or attempting suicide then I had won, notwithstanding any adverse reaction
Question: What is your message to the industry?
Answer: If employers make somebody feel themselves and be themselves, they become a far more valuable and constructive employee. Once I came out, suddenly I found this huge weight lifted off my shoulders. Two of my colleagues said something along the lines of, “You were the worst person to negotiate against anyway; so God help them now that you have shifted this burden.”
Question: You’re also a real trailblazer as the first transgender arbitrator appointed by the RICS Dispute Resolution Service. Are you hopeful more will follow?
Answer: Oh, absolutely. It’s a reflection of a change of direction in the RICS, which accompanies the recent report into its governance, which made it very, very clear that diversity and inclusion must form part of the new structure going forward. I hope that, going forward, people will be valued for their brain rather than how they dress.
Question: What are some of your other passions and have you discovered any new ones in the past couple of years?
Answer: I’ve discovered an expensive one: make up! One of my birthday presents last year from two lovely ladies in my life was a WARREN-WRIGHT contact [email protected] Dior makeover and lesson with the team in Southampton, which I had on Friday. I ended up spending a fortune. My old passion, which still hangs with me, is aviation. The last film I saw was Top Gun: Maverick – amazing. There were a couple of scenes which took me straight back to my twenties, early thirties. When they flew through the viaduct it reminded me of the first time that I flew in an aircraft and was told to drop down to ground level and fly underneath the power cables on the Isle of Wight.
Question: If Top Gun: Maverick was the last film, what was the last good book you read?
Answer: Rob Burrow’s Too Many Reasons to Live. The sheer guts of the man, a Leeds Rhinos favourite who has motor neurone disease. To see his fight and the fight of those close to him, it’s such an inspiring read.
Question: London Pride is coming up this weekend, will you be heading along?
Answer: Pride Month has had me running around in circles giving presentations. I might be at the parade, because the London Transgender Clinic, which has been the most fantastic healthcare environment I have ever met, has asked me – Christopher Inglefield, my surgeon, and Mary Burke, head of the hormones team. Quite frankly, without Mary, I wouldn’t be here. I simply wouldn’t. They are a wonderful, wonderful team.