Wednesday, March 16, 2016

In Awe, Reprise

This past week was the Keystone Conference.  Unlike past years, there will be no major review of the events.  I may do an entry on it.  Depends upon how I feel.

Anyway, last April I wrote an entry titled "In Awe."  In it, I discussed how I get tongue-tied around certain breathtakingly beautiful transwomen.

Since then, I thought about this topic.  And I remembered what I learned from Linda Lewis- that these women may be gorgeous, but they are also people.  And I determined that I would go out of my way to speak to at least one of these people this year.

And so I did.

There were two women that I felt tongue tied about at this conference.  And I spoke to them both.

These are in no particular order.

So in that blog from last year, I mentioned Stephanie Wardlow by name.  She is from Arkansas, and is a fellow sister of Vanity Club.  I finally screwed up the courage to introduce myself to her.  And she was as nice as everyone said.

With Stephanie Wardlow

We spoke a few times at the conference (when she wasn't surrounded by admirers), even though I still felt like an idiot while doing so.  I was so afraid of saying the wrong thing.  But she really is a fantastic person, and did her best to put me at ease.  We have IMed since then.

Stephanie and my roomie Linda Lewis

Another person I met at the conference is someone I hadn't met before.  Her name is Kimberly Moore, and she's another woman who is drop-dead gorgeous, and is also a Vanity Club sister.

As with Stephanie, I swallowed my fear, walked up, and introduced myself.  I did my best not to sound like an idiot.  We spoke several times during the conference.  She has a wicked sense of humor.

During karaoke on Thursday night, she did a wicked version of "Wagon Wheel."  I'd never heard the song before (I was surprised to see it was based on a Bob Dylan bootleg), and she made it her own.

Kimberly sings "Wagon Wheel."

We have connected online after the conference as well.  It turns out that we have a lot in common, like how we both read military history, etc.  She's a wonderful person.  Like Stephanie, she often was surrounded by friends and admirers.  And like Stephanie, she deserves them.

Most people don't believe when I say that I am, by nature, actually very shy.  (I can hear some people shouting "Bullsh*t!")  All through my elementary school, junior high, and high school, I kept to myself.  Most of this was due to my not wanting ANYONE to discover my secret.  Ever.  This behavior continued though my two years at Drexel University.  It was only after transferring to Penn State, where I knew only a couple of people, that I was forced to "put myself out there."  Alcohol helped.  Lots and lots of alcohol.

With Kimberly Moore

For some, the mere act of meeting people is terrifying.  And to actually DO it is an act of bravery.  And so it was with me.  But, as I've related many times in this blog, I used to run into burning buildings as a member of a rescue squad in my youth.  I use the same "damn the torpedoes" approach when my shyness stops me short.  Just step forward and do it.

So, at least twice during this conference, I've had to close my eyes and just overcome my fear:  an overwhelming Fear of rejection; Fear of embarrassment.

I've conquered worse fears, after all.  I transitioned.

I've written it many times:  Fear Kills.

Now I have two new friends that I didn't have before- friends that share the... condition... I have.  Friends that know the Pain of being trans.

They are wonderful people- beautiful inside and out.  I'm lucky to know them!


  1. Awesome post! Sorry I didn't make it to Keystone, but I'm looking forward to meeting you in the future.

    VC 177

  2. I'm actually shy myself and have exactly the same issue. Luckily my partner makes me go talk to the ones I get tongue tied around. Hugs!

    Traci Burrell