This was my second year going. This year I decided to give back and hosted a workshop. It was based on my earlier blog called Own It. I was quite nervous going into it, but everyone is so wonderful, I soon settled in. The theme being, “Let’s Make A Difference” means a lot to me. All my life I have tried to make other people’s lives a bit easier. Whether it was as a Youth Minister, a counselor, or just being a friend, I tried to help people.
It was nice to get feedback from some of the people who came to the workshop. One transman told me that he really appreciated my talk and that it inspired him to help others. He was a lovely man who always had a big smile whenever I saw him. I had gotten to my workshop early and didn’t realize that the welcoming workshop was before mine. I sat in and soon found that one of the women there had requested a “big sister” to help her get around. I noted that I had signed up to be a “big sister”. Turns out the leader of the workshop was in charge of that, but due to some technical glitches couldn’t get things worked out. So she asked if I wouldn’t mind. Of course, I agreed. It was nice showing my new “little sister” around, but she soon didn’t need me and was off making new friends. We did touch base a few times and met for lunch. One of the people from my own group showed up and I took her under my wing also. We would talk and have lunch together. Once our other friend from our group was around, we were like the three musketeers.
I have a number of friends from Facebook land that I never get to see in real life. This was a great opportunity to see them and get to talk. While waiting on the banquet, I was sitting down to rest my feet, when another Facebook friend came up to me. She doesn’t post a lot so doesn’t show in my feed so it took me a bit to recognize her. It was nice to meet so many people who are all working to just be themselves. I was looking for some of my friends from last years event, but didn’t find them.
Last year, I stayed for the banquet, but not the fashion show. This year, I got to see the fashion show and loved the fashion and fun. A definite must do next year. Heck, I might even do the fashion show next year since I know what is involved now. The banquet was great, as was the keynote speaker.
I especially loved the new locale. While the Westin was a nice hotel, trying to get into the area on 128 at 9a in the morning, was horrid. It was much easier going straight up 495. I am hoping they keep it in Marlboro again next year.
I truly do love this event and may even try to make Fantasia Faire this year on the Cape. Grace and her team do an amazing job of bringing this all together. There are many workshops covering such diverse topics ranging from legal issues facing the community, to hair removal and surgical options. I remember last year, I was overwhelmed with the amount of information available. This year, I took a more laid back approach and went to a few different workshops to either refresh my knowledge or to reinforce it. Picked up some new information and got to see surgery options. I can dream can’t I?
I love that this is available for those in the community. Grace and her team put together one heck of a get together. I highly recommend that anyone in the community or even those questioning, should try to make it next year. The love and support is overwhelming.
What I really would love to see is a world where events like these are no longer needed. Where people aren’t trying to put others down in order to lift themselves up, but allow people to just be. Just think, if the Republicans and Religious Right weren’t working so hard to bring hate and discrimination on anyone who was different, we might just make the need for functions like this obsolete. All I can do is to continue to try to educate others and bring awareness. I hope that one day it will just be accepted and people will be able to just go see their doctor and get the help they need. I hope that one day people will just be able to live as who they are and not have to hide or live in fear because of ignorance and hatred.
Mostly I hope that my writing can bring education and awareness so that I can Make A Difference!
My heart to your heart, one heart, one spirit.
Emma Morgaine Croft