Transgender Lives Conference

SISSY

Saturday, I attended the Transgender Lives Conference at the UConn Health Center. Doors opened at 8 AM, the conference got underway at 9 AM and my presentation, "Makeup Basics for Trans Females," was at 9:30.

I live about 20 minutes away from the Health Center, but I was up at 5 AM because I have to feed the pets, clean the litter boxes, clean and refill the pets' bowls for their next feeding, get the newspaper from the tube at the end of the driveway and make myself a cup of coffee before I began to femulate, which got underway at 5:45 AM.

I shaved, showered, slipped on my undies, did my makeup and hair, got dressed and was out the door arriving at the Health Center shortly after 8 AM. I wore the same outfit I wore for my flat-tired outreach trip on Thursday, that is, a new "cut-out" top from Avon, relatively new dressy wedges from Payless and an old, but seldom-worn ankle-length split skirt from Newport News.

As I entered the Health Center, I was impressed with the number of people already in line to enter the Conference. I found out later that there were over 250 attendees, which is an all-time high for the conference (the Conference gets bigger every year).

After I checked in at the presenter's check-in table, I visited the continental breakfast spread, poured myself a glass of orange juice (I was thirsty, not hungry) and mingled with the attendees, saying "Hello" to friends and acquaintances, as well as many friendly strangers.

After attending Diana's welcoming remarks at 9 AM, I found the classroom where my presentation was to begin at 9:30. Ten people showed up: 8 solo and one couple.

When I gave this presentation last month at the True Colors Conference, I felt uncomfortable and I believe my presentation suffered as a result. The source of my discomfort was the fact that I am 66-years-old and I was addressing an audience whose average age was probably 17. What high school girl needs to hear about the benefits of eye wrinkle cream?

My audience Saturday was an older crowd, adults rather than kids, so I felt I had something to offer that would be beneficial to my audience. As a result, I was looser, told some related anecdotes and most of my attempts at humor were successful. Overall, it went very well.

After my presentation, I attended Rev. Moonhawk River Stone's workshop "Being Trans and Aging: A Workshop For Trans* Elders and Their Allies." Since I am on the brink of semi-retirement, I thought this presentation would be useful and I was correct.

Next was lunch and I dined with two old friends from my support group, Andrea and Deja Vu, and a new acquaintance, Jamey from Florida. While I was eating, I saw my two best girlfriends from Fantasia Fair, Melissa and Natalie, in the lunch line, so as soon as I finished eating, I joined them at their table and we caught up on old and new times.

After lunch, I attended a presentation about family relationships, but I left at the half-way mark because it concentrated on parents and children, where the child was transitioning. It was interesting, but not very applicable to me, not to mention that the tiny classroom was packed with people and very uncomfortable. So I made a hasty exit and returned to the lobby where I found Diana and twisted her arm to take some photos, one of which appears above.

The last presentation I attended was Dallas Denny's "Ding, Dong, the Medical Model is Dead," which discussed the history of the origin and decline of the medical model of transsexualism. Being a history nut of sorts, I found this presentation both interesting and revealing. If you are a history nut, I suggest that you visit Dallas' website, which has a vast amount of equally interesting and revealing articles related to people of our sort.

After Dallas' presentation, I hung out in the lobby, where snacks could be had. I indulged with a delicious oatmeal raisin cookie and a Diet Pepsi and while doing so, struck up a conversation with a new acquaintance, Roberta, who was from my hometown. She even lived in my old neighborhood for awhile and attended my grammar school... small world!

It had been a busy day and the 5 AM wakeup call was taking its toll, so I decided to forgo the keynote address and awards presentations and instead, returned home.

It was a very good day. I saw a lot of my friends and a few Femulate readers including a ham radio sister from New Hampshire. The Conference was the best one I have ever attended and I look forward to the next one.

 

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