Thursday, October 23, 2008

So what have you been up to?

After SCC, I had about a week to decompress and try to get back into things. Of course, life has a way of interfering with your mood. I decided to make the local crossdresser's group's monthly meeting, more as an excuse to dress up than anything. I'd mentioned on their mailing list that I needed to find a pair of dress boots, and someone offered to bring a pair in my size to try. It was also their Halloween party, but I decided to not bother trying with a costume-I knew I was going to go do some shopping before the party. I could have brought something to wear, but why bother?

Ever notice it always takes you twice as long to get ready as you think it will, even if you know what you're wearing? Exactly. I drove to Electrique Boutique to see if they might have a pair of dress boots. I knew they'd have stripper boots, and fetish thigh-highs, but anything less dramatic they don't normally carry in my size.

And I was right. So off to Kroger's for snacks for the party, then to the Gay and Lesbian Center for the meeting. I wasn't the only person who didn't dress for the holiday. But some did, including a new person who I didn't recognise. When we started talking, we realised that we knew each other from online. Small world?

The turnout for the meeting was not bad, there was more socializing than anything, though nobody seemed to want to go out afterward and I wasn't going alone, so I called it an early night. In the past, that would have bothered me but somehow tonight, it didn't. I did talk to Anna about going shopping the following Friday at Allen Premium Outlets for the boots. She was interested in going out shopping, and I like spending time with her.

So, the following Friday, I do my best casual girl look (black ballet top with 3/4 length sleeves, purple and black print broomstick skirt) and called her on the way. When she realised we had made plans, and I took my time getting there to give her time to get ready. We went to the outlet mall, and walked the entire thing (it's a big outdoor mall in a circle). And NOBODY had a pair of boots in 12m. I mean, really! I did get a sweater at Lane Bryant Outlet, which is one of the best places to shop. But I was cranky enough over not finding boots that I went back home earlier than I'd planned, fighting Friday evening traffic which made me more cross...

I talked to a friend online about my problem, and she suggested looking for a particular boot on eBay. And I found them, at a good price. They came in today, and fit perfectly! THAT made my day!

Saturday afternoon I fly to DC for a wedding of two good friends. Andrea I've known for a while, since we were commenting on each other's LiveJournals. I've seen her romance with Brooke blossom for a while, and when I was invited to attend I was truly touched. Which is why I needed the boots, because the outfit I'm wearing wouldn't work as well without them.

So, that's what has been going on. More or less. I'll post something from DC...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Southern Comfort

So, I went to my eighth Southern Comfort Conference, held annually in Atlanta. This was our second year at the Crowne Plaza Ravinia, and things went far better than last year with the hotel. A lot of positive things, some weird ones, and a few missteps...

+ As I said, the hotel was far better than last year. They were not prepared for us, and it showed with slow service, problems with housekeeping, and backups. This year, they were well-staffed, things went a lot faster, and housekeeping was great. The staff loved us; we tip well and don't tear up rooms or cause problems.

+ The hotel is also across the street from Perimeter Mall, one of the best malls in the city. The stores are great, and their staffs were wonderful to us. I never had anything but the best service! MAC of course had a wonderfully professional staff. I got some great tips on fixing a problem I've been having with under eye circles; learned a lot about avoiding putting certain things there and the make up artist found the right concealer to use.

And then there's Bloomingdale's Yves St. Laurent counter. I was just walking past, on my way out, and ended up in a fun conversation with the make up artist and her boss-whos son owns a restaurant in Dallas. I had to promise to come back again to get my eye makeup done (hey, a girl's got her priorities)...

+ Seeing people who have not been to an SCC in some time. And seeing more new people than before, including younger transpeople. Also, more transmen than last year. Even though overall attendance was slightly down, the mix made up for it.

+ SCC once again had excellent presentations. We always manage to get some great people, and this year was no exception

+ Atlanta is a great city. The people are friendly and there are lots of things to do. I never had a cross word or odd look.

+ Outwrite Bookstore and Coffeehouse is still the best LGBT bookstore anywhere, with a great selection of books and music, good coffee and pastries, and a wonderful location (Piedmont and 10th in Midtown). It used to be in walking distance from the old hotel, and is one of the few things I really miss with the new location.

+ Meeting Ronnie Rho finally. She's even more fun in person than she is online. We just clicked right off, going into total rifts on things and confusing one and all. That's a sign. She also helped me when I thought I had a major disaster on my hands (which turned out okay). She didn't need to, but she helped a lot.

+ Seeing Renee again. I forgot how great she was to hang around with. She's also great to conspire with-which is a plus in my book. She is trying to make me go to Frolicon, and tempting me with her wicked ways...

+ The usual suspects: Emma and her spouse, Divinyl and Jennifer. We always seem to see each other and have far more fun than we ought to. Great people to spend time with :)

+ My long-suffering roommate, Christianne. A year has made a lot of difference and none. And you're still one of the easiest people I know to get along with.

+ Starbucks. Because I wouldn't make it without coffee.

+ Andrea and Brooke are wonderful people to spend a day with, have a meal, share drinks. They make such a cute couple. And they're getting hitched soon!

+ The Fabulous Sabrina Pandora, a force of nature who is one of the best friends I could have. She's told me things I needed to hear, even when I may not have wanted to. And she's got the most distracting personality I know...

+ There are a lot of other people I have forgotten. Know that I am glad to have seen you :)

+ There is something so empowering about being in a place where you are in the majority. Hundreds of people who are like you, who you feel connected with, and who you can share an experience with.

- Atlanta traffic is killer. And it's so easy to get lost, espcially with the constant road construction.

- The gas crisis, which caused people to do silly things but thank goodness, was less of a crisis by the end of the week.

- Why do I find ways to cause me to mental? It's always little stuff, like wardrobe failures that make me take forever to get ready and put things behind. And then I feel pressure on myself to try to catch up again...

- Can someone explain to me why TSA agents in Atlanta have to act like pricks, while the ones at DFW are professionals?

+/- AirTran is nearly as good as Southwest, but their stupid fees suck. At least they are not as bad as American or Delta.

- There is never enough time to do all you want to at SCC. So it motivates you to come back, I suppose.

- You leave SCC on Sunday and things seem so different. And it takes time to get back to the world...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Fear is the mindkiller. And it looks terrible in pumps.

An SCC post soon, but for now...

Someone on a local mailing wrote about going to an event at the Galleria and having a great time. And then some little kid "clocked*" her. She felt very bad afterward, so wrote:

Zelda came of age in New Orleans, in the French Quarter. The locals are great people; they don't care about your eccentricities; they do care about the kind of person you are. If you don't bother them...

Tourists, however.

Ever notice how some people leave home and decide that the rules of decorum and manners aren't important anymore? Exactly. I have had people scream "It's a guy in a dress" at me. I had a lit cigarette tossed at me (it missed). I have been treated rudely, stared at, pointed at, whispered about.

I should have run back to the hotel, crying, tearing off my dress and wiping the makeup off, promising I will never do this again. I didn't. It just pissed me off at first. Then, I realized that I really did not CARE what they thought of me. I was happy with myself, and that was what mattered.

Since then, I have been all over the country. I have had people make remarks, but that has gotten rarer. I went to the mall last year with a tgirl, and when we were leaving she asked me how I could stand the staring. I had not even noticed...

Do I look better now than I used to? Yes. Am I more "passable?" Whatever that means. Do I have a lot more confidence in myself, feel like I belong anyplace I reasonably want to be, not give a f**k what the tourists think? Oh, yes!

So, one kid clocking you is just little thing. You just go on with the day...
Sometimes you really just need to get on with it. Because when you let others limit you, it's putting you back into another closet.

And I'm no closet queen anymore.

* Clocked-Having someone notice that you're not a cisgendered female. They may just stare, or do something else that makes you know that they know.