The centerpiece of this trip was to speak at the Empire State Pride Agenda Spring Dinner at the Convention Center last night. It was a wonderful event, and I'm pleased with my own particular portion of the evening.
I haven't spoken at a big dinner in a couple of years. There was a time when I seemed to be doing it, like, every other week. When I do things like this I don't write down my remarks - they come from the heart and flow out through the mouth so you never know how it will all flow. It's just as comfortable now as it ever was to stand in front of 600 people and feel a that you're part of a big group-hug.
I had some wonderful people approach me to chat last one. One couple are parents of a trans teen, and sought me out to tell me how important my book had been in their coming to peace with it. A teacher from one of the local high schools told me that they've got 3 trans kids active in their local GSA. I find it tremendously gratifying, and a true barometer of just how far we've come, that kids are able to come out and adults are able to find the resources to be supportive. Anyway - I had dozens of great conversations last night which is partly why I think I hit the fatigue wall once I had time to decompress.
I've given talks all over the country, but there's something special about doing it here in Rochester. I've spent more time here than any other place in my entire life....16 straight years after getting married in the early '80s and if anyplace feels like home it's here. It was so nice to see familiar faces, friends, and to bask in the comfort of coming back.
My "date" last night was my sister. I think she really enjoyed herself. She's attended a number of things with me over the years but I think this was probably the first she's been to something like this. I gave the "keynote address" which was based on recognition both that I'm a local and the need to pass GENDA here. As always - I spoke from the heart and I felt both thankful and honored to have done my part in making such a well-planned, well-executed event a success. Congratulations to everyone involved.
I sometimes wonder what people are expecting when I walk onto the stage to talk, especially at these kinds of events. Some have seen me before, but most have no clue who I am or what I've done or what I'm going to say. Perhaps the fact that some are impressed with what I've got so say is that they've got low expectations in the first place. Or perhaps it's that I'm actually some combination of being fairly articulate, passionate, funny, and most importantly that I speak from the heart. Regardless, the thing I find dragging the most this morning is my voice, and my throat. I envision a some cough drops in my very near future.
I'm spending some time with family today. And I plan to stop by the Lilac Festival. It's a very pleasant day so I'm going to take some time to enjoy it.
|My sister and I getting ready for the ESPA dinner....|