|After my makeover before last year's banquet.|
Connecticut Outreach Society's annual banquet is Saturday evening. It is the biggest trans social event of the year in these parts and draws 50 to 75 trans people, their supporters, partners, admirers, etc. every year. A good time is had by all.
This year's after-dinner speaker is Ethan St. Pierre. I have not seen or heard from Ethan since Fantasia Fair, so I am looking forward to seeing him on Saturday.
I also look forward to seeing my favorite fashion consultant, Patty, before the banquet. She lives near the hotel and if our schedules are in sync, I usually stop by before the event to show off the results of her advice.
When I was less outgoing a few years ago, the banquet was a very big event for me. It was a rare opportunity to get dressed to the nines and socialize with my "girlfriends," who were similarly attired.
I was so closeted back then that I rented a room at the hotel, arrived in boy mode, and changed into girl mode in my room. When I was ready to make my way down to the banquet hall, I would look through the peep hole of my hotel room door to make sure no one was around. Then I would open the door slightly to see beyond what I could not see through the peep hole.
If all was clear, I would walk down the hall and hope that I would not encounter any civilians in the hallway or worse, in the elevator.
In the lobby, I would scurry as fast as my 4-inch heels would permit me to the banquet hall, check-in, and stay within the hall's confines until the event ended. If, heaven forbid, Mother Nature called, I would slink to the bathroom that the hotel designated for our kind of "girls."
Those days are long gone.
Now I dress at home, drive a half-hour to the hotel, walk the walk through the parking lot and lobby proudly strutting my stuff with no thought about avoiding civilians, male or female. During the banquet, I will repair to the lobby if the music is too loud to gossip with the girls and if Mother Nature calls, I use the most convenient ladies' room, not necessarily the one designated for our kind.
And the banquet is no longer the end-all and be-all event of the year for me. I am no longer stuck attending trans-only events; I relish all opportunities to really be myself out in the real world. But I still forward to the banquet to visit with friends, old and new.