The women I have encountered at Hamvention have embraced me as a member of their gender even those who are familiar with my roots.
∞ ∞ ∞
A woman I had never met before and who is the wife of a prominent ham, came up to me after the awards dinner ceremonies. She introduced herself and then asked me if I prefer being called "Stan" or "Stana."
Once that was settled, she went on and on praising me profusely saying what an inspiration I was and how brave I was to do what I do. Then she added that the women at her table were very impressed with my makeup and wanted to know if I gave lessons. And then she invited me to her home. She lives 20 minutes from me, so I accepted the invitation and wait for her to get back to me to confirm a date.
∞ ∞ ∞
One female ham I have known for many years and who is very familiar with my roots, lives in Connecticut, but I usually only see her in Ohio at Hamvention. She staffs a booth near my booth and we always meet up at one booth or the other to chat and catch up, as was the case Friday morning, when she stopped by my booth. After talking for about ten minutes, she had to go, but before she left, she said, "By the way, you look beautiful!"
I was speechless, but managed to squeak out a "thank you."
Then she added, "I really mean that!"
∞ ∞ ∞
Now that I had been accepted as a member of the women's club, I decided to join the Young Ladies Radio League (YLRL), which bills itself as "an organization for women with amateur radio licenses and like radio itself, extends to women all over the world."
So I moseyed over to the YLRL booth, where I was greeted as an old girlfriend and encouraged to complete their membership application. The three women staffing the booth couldn't have been nicer and willingly accepted me as a member of their organization ― even one of the women who must have been familiar with my roots because she congratulated me for my award having seen my photo and bio in the Hamvention program.
∞ ∞ ∞
With all the recent malarkey about bathrooms, I was a little nervous about using the women's restrooms during my trip, but I threw caution to the wind and used the facilities that corresponded with my presentation. No one called me on it and some of the women I encountered in the restrooms, smiled and/or greeted me with a "Hello," so I guess they felt I belonged.
∞ ∞ ∞
|Wearing Caroline Constas.|
|An all-male cast performed Twelfth Night on stage in Buffalo, NY, 2015.|