Saturday, March 14, 2009

my day at the True Colors Conference

Friday, I was part of the True Colors Conference at my alma mater, the University of Connecticut. The annual conference brings together GLBT youth and their adult supporters and/or facilitators (parents, teachers, guidance counselors, social workers, etc.).

Diana L did the driving and we arrived on campus at about 8:30 AM. In deference to my high heels, Diana left me off in front of the Student Union, handed me a box of handouts for our support group's table, and drove off to park her Prius.

I found our table and started setting up for the day.

When Diana arrived, I asked her to take a few photos. She obliged and when I reviewed them through the camera's LCD, I realized that my dress was very short on length. I had worn this dress before and its mini-ness was not as apparent then because I was wearing black tights, but yesterday, wearing brown ("expresso") tights made my legs and lack of skirt more obvious. I felt a little self-conscious about it, but I was not going to let it upset my day.

Lee Anne showed up around 9 AM and we three staffed the table most of the day.

Students and adults came by the table throughout the day and we chatted with everyone who stopped by, fielding their questions, and filling their hands with our handouts.

I believe we were the only trans group at the Conference, an island of T’s surrounded by an ocean of GLB’s, so a number of people who stopped by remarked how glad they were to see T’s represented, too.

I broke for lunch early and bought a yogurt at the food court, and then I prepared for my workshop. The way I prepare is to get nervous for a few hours before my presentation.

After I was appropriately unnerved, I walked to the Math and Science Building where I was presenting my workshop at 1 PM, titled "Femulate: The Art of Becoming Womanly." I found my classroom and waited for my audience.

As 1 PM approached, only five people had shown up. Turns out that folks were held up in the long lunch lines, so most of my audience arrived late. I was unaware of the problem and began at 1 PM sharp. By 1:15 or so, my audience had grown to 25 people.

As usual, once I began, my nervousness evaporated and I was on a roll, telling the short version of my biography and then getting into the main part of my presentation, which was basically an update of my “top 30 things every crossdressing man needs in his wardrobe to emulate a woman.”

The presentation went well. Lots of people asked questions and I tried to answer them all. At the end, I received applause, handshakes, and more questions from members of the audience who hung around afterwords.

I collected their evaluations and read them this morning. I received mostly “Excellent” and “Very Good” evaluations. I also received two ”Goods” and one “Fair,” so I would say I did OK.

The written comments were more revealing. Here is a sample:

"Super Practical. No philosophy, a real how-to, very honest, unpretentious, authentic and real."

"It was a really interesting presentation."

"Well done --- this was awesome"

"Great job, truthful, honest + helpful"

"Great legs, definitely"

"Awesome legs ; ) "

The last two comments made me feel a lot better about wearing a mini yesterday.

After my workshop, I returned to our table and crashed. The afternoon was not as busy as the morning and it dragged a bit, but turned out to be just as rewarding as the morning when a couple of trans people showed up to thank us for being there in the past because it had made a difference in their lives.

Just as we were getting ready to call it a day, somebody noticed a plaque on the wall behind our table. The plaque displayed the title, year, and the name of the artist of the mural on the wall behind us. The name of the piece was Transcendence.

Lee Anne left for home and Diana and I left to dine at Bertucci’s in the Buckland Hills mall in Manchester. Friday night and the place was full. We were escorted to a table at the end of an aisle, so we got to parade by 15 or so tables full of diners, but they were so busy dining that they did not seem to pay us much mind.

Our waitress seemed cool, but I think the server was a little nervous because as she left our table, she said, “I hope you enjoy your folks, meals.”

The rest of the meal was uneventful. We finished eating and I returned home about 7:30 PM very tired, but very happy.

It was another nice day en femme.


  1. It's great that you are doing outreach

  2. Did you receive any good questions from the students this time?

  3. Yeah, but I forgot to take off the bright yellow "Equality" sticker for dinner.

    Today was a lot quieter then yesterday, probability only a 1/3 of Friday's attendance.

  4. Another excellent public outreach event, Staci! You looked great... and the legs and short skirt worked well!

  5. Brandi DennisMarch 15, 2009

    I think it's simply wonderful that you were able to enlighten the guests with good information. I applaud you for your outreach program and wish you so many more great presentations.

  6. Queers United --- Thank you!

  7. Joni's jeanie --- Thank you, too.

  8. Laurie --- Yesterday, my workshop was different than the outreach I normally do. Instead of outreaching about the trans life, my workshop was intended to provide information on how to be a better femulator. So, all the questions were "technical" or fashion-oriented, for example, "Do you shave before or after you apply a moisturizer?" or "Where can you buy large size shoes?" All the questions were "good" because they addressed the concerns of novice femulators.

  9. Diana --- I did not mention the Equality sticker because I figured that when you removed your name badge, you must have saw that big bright sticker and wanted to keep it on! Sorry.

  10. Deborah --- Thank you. After yesterday, I will never think twice about wearing a short skirt!

  11. Brandi Dennis --- Thank-you.

  12. Anonymous --- Indeed, the conference was great!

  13. You have the same problem I have with most women's clothes. They are not proportioned for our height. A dress that on most women wearing it would almost reach the tops of their shoes would just reach below the knees for me. The mini dress of the 1960's was just a longer dress that was shortned and not designed to be a mini in the first place. In the 80's when they came back, there were tailored for short length. So when you wear a short dress it just doesn't look "right" on you and makes people scrutnize your look more.

  14. Lauralee --- And the selection/availability of Tall size dresses is not too good!

  15. You are so right. I have a catalog I shop but to them tall is 5'8" to 5'11". As I am 6' 4" that helps but not enough sometimes!

  16. Lauralee --- I also find that the Tall sizes don't fit my upper body correctly, whereas non-Tall sizes fit my upper body fine, but are short at the hemline.