Monday, April 21, 2014

Keystone Conference 2014 Part 2

Part One is HERE

Friday morning was quiet.  Ally, Linda and I awoke around the same time, and had fun discussing many topics of no major importance.

I attended my dear friend Victoria's presentation about transitioning in the workplace.  Victoria is a very confident and poised speaker and devastatingly gorgeous.

I bounced around a bit, and eventually ended up in Kristin Beck's talk.  As at SCC, she was dynamic and forceful.  Her piece was filmed by one of the network affiliates.  After her talk, I bought her a beer, and she posed for pictures.

Me and Kristin Beck
Soon after, I went to see Amanda Richards for a makeover, then it was out to dinner.  This year, I went to Carley's Ristorante.  I was there with Ally and Hayden, while Linda went to Cafe Fresco, where I went the previous years.

Ally peruses the menu

Kristin Beck was also there, and everyone had a wonderful time.  After dinner, many people went to Stocks on Second for drinks and dancing.  As a guy, I never danced much.  I took a ballroom dance class at Penn State, but dancing at a club, never.  Well, now I'm a Woman.  I was wearing a hot little black dress and, well, I danced.  I danced and danced.  I loved feeling my body bounce and move.  It was intoxicating and I didn't care how stupid I looked.  I had a blast and sweated my makeup off.

And I didn't care!
With Hayden at Carley's

Saturday I wandered around a bit.  I met more people and had a nice time.  It was a quiet day.  I wasn't hung over as I danced away all I drank the night before.  I had a very nice discussion with Sharon Rose on the nature of transition.  I see her every year at Keystone, and every year she is more beautiful.

That night was the annual gala.  Donna Miller did my hair for me again and Amanda Richards did my makeup.  This year I wore a blue gown I bought from my friend Jone.  It was my first "formal" event since going full time and I was a little self conscious.

Ally, Linda, and I

Of course, there were many cameras and pictures taken.  I was very happy to pose with people who mean the world to me.

With Sandy Empanada

And with new friends as well.

With Jenny North

Dinner was good.  I sat with many fun people, including one I didn't know.  Unfortunately she  sat across the table from me

Ally, Kelly Metzger, Olivia Loren

Linda, Me, Sandy Empanada.  Not pictured are John, Hayden, and the other person
The dinner speaker was Dr. Wayne Maines.  He had twin sons, one of whom was TG, and the "tea partiers" ran him out of town and into hiding.  He WAS a conservative republican, but saw the hatred and threats directed against his very young child and saw them for what they are.  And he discussed what happened in detail.  Fortunately, it was a happy ending.

But that whole issue bothered me deeply.  One person full of hate completely disrupted this man's life and that of his family.  What if the same happens to me?  What if someone tries to keep me from my daughter based upon Hate, or strikes at me through my daughter?  I was rattled.

With Linda and Julie

Eventually, I changed out of my gown to something a little more functional for drinking and dancing.  In the bar, I bumped into the amazingly beautiful and talented Monica Prada.

With Monica Prada 

I went to watch the band for a bit.  They were different this year- it was an all woman band called Wicked Jezabel.  At one point one of the lead singers came onto the dance floor to sing Bon Jovi's "You Give Love a Bad Name" along with anyone who would sing along.  I know all the words and she saw me singing along, and we ended up singing over half the song together.  Later that night, she invited me to sing with them the following year.  I was flattered.

The night went on, and the bar action continued.  But there were two things I couldn't get out of my mind.  One was the nagging fear of what could happen with my daughter as I described.  But the other was that I missed Lisa Empanada.

It wasn't the same without her there.  Sandy gave me one of Lisa's necklaces on Friday, and I wore it Saturday night.   And when I changed, I changed into one of the tops I inherited from her.  I was tired after a long week, and that, combined with fear and drink, caused me a profound sadness.  I ended my Saturday night sitting on the floor of our room's bathroom, sobbing for over an hour, trying to remain quiet so I didn't wake up my roomies.

The following morning was rainy.  Linda, Ally, Sandy, Hayden, John, and Olivia sat together for breakfast.  All around the restaurant were many tired looking guys that the night before shone brightly as women.  But not me- not this time.  I was my true self.

That small subtle difference- that I didn't have to change back, as there was no more changing back- made a huge difference.

The Keystone Conference is always an amazing time, and is my favorite conference.  It has things to offer everyone from the new person to the fully transitioned TG.  For me, Keystone means friendships and connections.  This year I was fortunate to stay with two amazing dear friends and to met some simply incredible new people.  Where will I be next year at Keystone?  Who will I be?

Stay tuned!

Jenny, Jane, Linda, a gargoyle

1 comment:

  1. I just want to say I love love love your hair.