Saturday, March 15, 2008


Yesterday, I participated in the True Colors Conference for school-aged GLBT youth and their adult supporters and/or facilitators (parents, teachers, guidance counselors, social workers, etc).

The day started early. I was up at 5 AM in order to be en femme and at the conference on the UCONN campus by 10 AM. The trip was about 90 minutes long, which included a 25-minute trip to my friend Patty's house to give her a ride to the conference. We arrived on campus at 9:15 AM.

On the way up, I demonstrated my female voice to Patty. She said it sounded "forced." I decided that I needed more practice and put my female voice back in the box.

First thing after we arrived at UCONN, we walked to Jorgensen Auditorium to pick up our Presenter packages. Everyone I encountered used the correct pronouns. So far, so good.

My schedule was to man staff my support group's booth until about 2:30 PM, then walk to the classroom where I would do my workshop, "Body Image and Male-to-Female Crossdressing."

We found my support group's table in the Student Union and I introduced myself to Nicole, who would be manning staffing the table with me.

I went to the women's restroom to freshen up. While in the restroom, a young woman complimented my outfit. She especially liked the belted look.

The morning was uneventful. Some people stopped at our table for information; mostly adults (school counselors and such), who were new to dealing with trans-children in their schools.

We broke for lunch and ate at the Student Union food court. I had Chinese food. The two female food servers used the correct pronouns with me, but I think the female cashier used "sir." It was noisy and it was hard to hear her, so I am not 100% sure about her "sir."

After lunch, I went to the restroom to powder my nose. On the way back to our table, a woman stopped me. She said she was manning staffing a table across the room from our table and she thought my smile was "so engaging." I turned red with embarrassment and thanked her for the kind words.

The afternoon was more of the same. Most memorable was one young male who came to our table. He was very nervous and hardly spoke. We tried to encourage him to speak freely, he was amongst friends, but he could not, so we loaded him down with our hand-outs and hoped that would help. (I so saw myself in his shoes when I was his age.)

As the time for my workshop approached, I started getting nervous. My main concern was that I had no idea what kind of audience I would face.

When it was time to go, I got my things together to walk to the Math & Science Building where my workshop was to be. As I left, I passed the table where the woman who complimented me was sitting. I smiled at her and she said, "Keep on smiling."

It was a long walk. It was actually only two city blocks long, but my feet were killing me. I specifically picked my shoes for a long day because in the past, I was able to wear them for long stints without a problem, but yesterday, they were killing my feet. Go figure!

I arrived at the classroom about ten minutes early and there were already about ten students in the class. I am terrible at guessing ages, but I think their ages ranged from late teens to the early twenties.

By the time I started my workshop, I had about 20 people in my workshop; 15 or so were student-aged and 5 or so were adults. (At the end, I received 17 evaluation forms, so either my headcount guesstimate was high or a few people did not fill out an evaluation form.)

I started off telling everyone to jump in with questions at anytime. I would rather try and answer their specific questions, rather then have them listen to me babble on about something they did not want to hear.

I proceeded to babble on for about 20 minutes or so telling them my life story. They were polite and did not interrupt, so I stopped in mid-life and asked them if they had any questions. And they did.

Some of their questions resulted in my babbling on a bit to try to expand on my answer, but most of the time was filled with Q&A.

A male adult asked me what I considered were the most important things that helped me to pass and I listed a bunch of things that I thought were tops in my femulation. After my workshop, I realized that I forgot to talk about attitude, which is probably as important or even more important then the things I listed.

The 90 minutes passed quickly and we were done.

I felt that I did an OK job, but most of the evaluations indicated otherwise. The evaluations ranged from fair, good, very good, to excellent with the vast majority in the very good and excellent range. Some of the evaluations contained suggestions for improvement and I will definitely incorporate the suggestions if I do a workshop again.

Here are some of the comments I received on the evaluation forms that made my day:

"She seems to be a lovely person."

"Great job!"

"I thought it was very eye opening... you don't have to be gay to cross-dress."

"I loved your expression! I think your really pretty as a woman!"

"I really liked how you explained everything, you made it very clear."

"Staci was very relatable, easy to talk to."

"I think you did a great job: I like that you went into real-life things that happened to you, not just facts."

"I felt very educated after. Staci was very willing to talk about anything with us. She was very open."

"Don't ever stop dressing so beautiful."

"Having a crossdresser as a speaker helps because they know what they go through and what its like."

"Staci was very honest in sharing her story - 'tricks of the trade.'"

"You rock!"

One comment bothered me: that I have issues with transsexuals because I referred to one as a "he."

The thing is that I am very careful with my pronouns and don't recall using "he" when I referred to a transsexual. Maybe a "he" slipped out, but I sure don't recall it happening during my workshop. If I did, I apologize for my error.

After our day at UCONN, we drove to Outback and met Diana for dinner. Nobody paid us much mind except the people in the booth across from us, who became very animated when they saw us three beautiful women. I was so tired by then, that I could care less!

It was a great day and I hope I will be able to do it again next year.


  1. Just a grammatical comment. You don't "man" the table, dear. You "staff" it. Especially wearing heels. Silly.

    Glad your presentation went well; the Math & Science building seemed a bit out in left field; I've done workshops before that had 1-2 people in 'em. So you had a good crowd.

  2. Thank you for the correction; "womanning" the table just didn't sound right!

  3. ::laffin:: smooth move.... I posted something about the conference at MHB (and mentioned your workshop); maybe you can link to your blog post over there.

  4. Staci,
    I am sure you did so well, girl!
    You sounded a little nervous, and maybe tired... I wouldn't blame you...

  5. It was already a long day by the time I did my workshop. Next time, I hope I get an earlier time slot, so I can be more vivacious.

  6. Thanks for sharing your experience with us all.

  7. Staci,
    Your # of evaluations was excellent, and you received good comments. Really well done!

  8. I had a wonderful day filled with many more "positives" than "negatives."