Part 4 of My Hamvention Story
In the past, I have recounted my adventures en femme in sequential order, telling you what happened each day and night as it occurred. This time, I will try something different and describe a variety of vignettes in random order.
I continued coming out to ham radio friends at Hamvention who I have not had an opportunity to come out to in the past. Their numbers are dwindling, but there are still a few stragglers out there in ham radio land.
As in the past, the people I came out to this year were fine with it. One fellow, who I have known for over 15 years (and who had no clue who I was until I pointed to my name on my badge) said, "As long as you are happy, that's all that counts."
The ham friends and acquaintances I came out to in past years are used to me. All refer to me as "Stana" and they all use the proper pronouns (she, her). One fellow slips up occasionally, but he is getting better all the time.
Two ham friends, who I have known for over 25 years are super-supportive. Whenever they see me, they are very enthusiastic and often complimentary. At our banquet Friday night, one of them said I looked "beautiful" and after he said that, I felt beautiful.
Some newer ham friends only know me as "Stana" and they are very cool with it. And my new female ham friends consider me part of their club and I am very cool with that.
More than one reader has remarked that they are surprised how well I have been accepted in the ham radio community, which tends to be more conservative rather than liberal. In addition, Dayton is about an hour from the Kentucky state line and as a result, Hamvention attracts a lot of attendees from the South, which also tends to be more conservative. So I had two strikes against me coming out to the Dayton crowd.
My first time at Hamvention 24/7 en femme in 2010, I felt a little uncomfortable going in, but my comfort level increased as I realized there was nothing to fear.
Now, I don't think about the fact I am en femme when I attend Hamvention because I am no longer en femme. My comfort level is such that I am complete as a person when I am en femme --- so complete that I am no longer en femme, rather I am a woman.
I love checking in and out of hotels as a woman. I love driving my car and pumping gas as a woman. I love dining and socializing with friends as a woman. I love doing everything as a woman because being a woman is my nature.
Students femulating on stage at Indiana’s Tr-State College, 1911.
Wearing Tahari Arthur S. Levine.