Friday, June 22, 2018

Reflections of a "Booth Babe"

Brenda commented on the video of my short presentation at Hamvention last month.

"Stana, you definitely have natural feminine mannerisms that come out in the video. You were 5 nine plus 60db and owned the moment. I hope this gives you the increased confidence that you are the woman that you are and can enjoy life as a woman without hesitation. You have shown us how the thought of coming out is terrifying and even more so where some may know your past but many people have no idea and just see a vibrant woman on stage as the TAPR secretary. Compliments are in order. You looked just fabulous. How about blogging as how you felt being a wonderful booth babe?

Your wish is my command, Brenda.

I confess that on the first time I staffed our booth as a woman in 2010, I was a little fearful about interacting with strangers and felt safer ensconced in our booth.

I spent the morning of the first day of the convention working in the "background" of our booth assisting the guys who were on the firing line interacting with customers.

In the afternoon, the firing line got busier, so I stepped up and began interfacing with the customers. They had questions and wanted information about our products. They did not care who was delivering that information and I quickly felt comfortable in the role of dispensing that information.

Being the only booth babe in our booth, I noticed that I was attracting customers away from the booth boys. Some of our customers actually held off dealing with the boys and waited patiently for their turn to talk with me. So, I thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon as the booth babe and after

However, staffing the booth at Hamvention, I got a taste of the prejudices that professional woman face every day.

Approximately 15% of the US ham population are female and the attendees at Hamvention reflected that statistic. By far, the males outnumbered females.

The people staffing booths at Hamvention also reflected that statistic. Some booths have no females, some of the bigger booths have one or two females and a few booths have a bevy of women, but they are professional "booth babes" hired to attract customers.

Some of the visitors to our booth must have read me as the equivalent of a booth babe. On one occasion, a guy approached me at the booth and asked, "Do you know anything?"

Damn! After 50 years in the hobby, I probably knew more about ham radio than he did. I was so taken aback by the question that I did not have a quick comeback. Instead, I did my duty and politely answered his question with a smile.

That moment is probably the low point of my eight stints as a booth babe. If that is the "low point," I guess I am doing OK especially in contrast to some of the high points.

For example, while I was staffing the booth, another guy asked me a question that I could not handle, so I jokingly said, "You'll have to ask him (referring to one of the guys staffing our booth) because I am just a 'booth babe'"

His response was, "And a very good 'booth babe'!"

Still another a guy stopped by and remarked that he remembered me from the previous year because I had bought a receiver kit from his booth. I recalled buying the item, but I did not recall him, so I used my feminine charms and managed to never admit that I did not remember him. And he went away a happy camper.

Countless guys smiled and/or winked at me when they walked past my booth. Women smiled at me too, but in a different way. As you know, there is a big difference between a man-to-woman smile and a woman-to-woman smile.

One fellow, who was staffing another booth nearby visited our booth to get better acquainted. He was interested in taking me out for a date during the convention, but then he noticed my wedding ring, asked about it and then backed off when I explained that I was happily married.

I thoroughly enjoy my life as a woman serving as a booth babe. It was wonderful to meet and chat with the people I already knew, but it was also wonderful to meet and chat with people I did not know explaining the technologies displayed in our booth. It makes the 725-mile roadtrip worthwhile.

During the long hours on the road I do a lot of thinking. As the New York radio stations fade away, I begin thinking about where I have been and where I am going on – especially where I am going in this adventure I have been living.

I love being able to live as a woman and I am so glad that I came out as I did to give me more opportunities to experience life as the woman I really am.

Source: Beyond the Rack
Wearing Celino (Source: Beyond the Rack)

Lee Leonard AKA Liz Lyons
Professional femulator Lee Leonard also know as Liz Lyons


  1. Janet YbarraJune 22, 2018

    Stana, and clearly you are a very beautiful woman to be accepted as a "booth babe." A beautiful and complete woman, I would say.

    I know you created this term "femulate" as if we are not really women--just impersonating them in some way.

    And I have to say that term may fit some people but misses the mark on so many others. I *am* a woman....I start HRT next week.

    And it misses the mark on yourself.... just reread the last sentence of your post above. You are a woman denying it.

    1. AnonymousJune 26, 2018

      well stated........

    2. AnonymousJune 26, 2018

      Well done! Great picture. You write like a dream too. So proud of YOU. Keep exploring you....