December 10, 2019 – Providence House (see the link on the “Links” page) is Ohio’s first and one of the nation’s longest operating crisis nurseries among the 70+ in operation in the US and Canada today, offering free, voluntary (non-custodial) emergency shelter to children newborn through twelve years old, actively living in crisis situations which place them at risk of abuse or neglect. Deck The House is one of their principal fundraisers and I have helped out for my third year. This event is always a favorite of mine (that sense of community).
The evening before I helped out with the unloading of trucks and setting up the event. The previous two times, I did so as Kandi. Too much work getting dressed for doing physical tasks, so I went as myself. Plus it took what would have been a six hour activity down to the actual time spent, three hours. No one cared a bit. I’ve done this frequently now, showing up as myself or as Kandi and enjoy it. Now in someone’s mind, I am not transgendered and/or living this way full time, as that is the assumption if you are seen dressed every time one sees you. I am a guy who presents female on occasion and it’s all right. Yes, that probably makes me unique in the universe of people struggling with the gender spectrum (not that I am what I am, but that I don’t hide it). Life is just easier when I get people to drop any misconceptions and just let me “be”.
I have been out countless hundreds of times, in countless thousands of locations, in front of tens of thousands of people and can only remember three times I saw someone I knew otherwise. Probably the best friends of my wife and I are a couple I have known a great majority of my life. The husband and I are friends since high school. I was at the concert with him when he met his future wife and we all have been friends ever since. Well, she showed up at this event. She walked right past me when I initially noticed her and I braced for the possibility of having the “conversation”. I know exactly what I would say to anyone who would know me “otherwise” and, while I’d rather avoid it, I am not fearful of it. Since I know what I am doing, I know how I am viewed and perceived (peripherally) and I know my friends pretty well (she is a high level bank executive, glued to that damn phone), I enjoyed my evening, she enjoyed hers, she left when I figured she would and no one was the wiser.
My outfit was this beautiful Calvin Klein dress saved for months for just the right Christmas event! The complements were thrilling, as many came either from a passer-by or someone who made the point to walk over to me specifically to complement me. Yeah, it was special.
The entire evening was just wonderful. I don’t have many specific stories as I did keep a bit of a low profile due to circumstances, but I smiled throughout. Oh yeah, until I missed out on the booze table raffle (enough to last even me a few years) by 2 numbers! The person who bought tickets just before me won. A lost opportunity.
Some photographic memories…….