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We revisit this gem from Julie!
By Julie Slowinski
It was a 4 night trip to Seattle and as you can see from the picture, Julie made it out all 4 nights. My AirBnB condo building was right in the middle of Capital Hill, which is what gave me the confidence to go out at all – that and the fact that I would not need to walk past a hotel front desk. I arrived on a Tuesday afternoon. Did a lot of thrift store shopping in drab, got my event ticket for the next day and headed back to my room to dry run my outfits for the next 3 nights. Got into full makeup and started taking pics of each possible outfit.
About 12:30am I was dying for a smoke. Almost deconstructed just for that one cigarette, but then thought why not? That’s what I’m here for (actually I was there for business, but you get the point). So, I put on the most blendy outfit I own (the left most pic), took several deep breaths, slowly opened the door, listened for anyone in the hallway and finally stepped out into the hallway. After I heard the click of the door closing, I thought, did I remember the key, thankfully yes. Got to the elevator, waited for like an eternity for it to get there, stepped into the building lobby and finally outside the building. There was a group of maybe 6 guys talking right outside the building and a couple of them noticed me, but didn’t pay me much mind. As I was smoking, I tried to look casual, but didn’t know what to do with my hands, should I lean against the wall? Okay, stop freaking out and just enjoy the cool evening air. So, when I got back to the room my confidence was through the roof and I felt totally prepared for the real thing the next night. Oh was I wrong …
The next day (Wednesday) I had a meeting that was scheduled to end at 1:30, which would leave me with ample time to get ready for the 7:00 screening of Cabaret as part of the SIFF, which included a preshow by one of the contestants from RuPaul’s Drag Race. Of course, the meeting went long and I was in agony as the person in charge kept blathering on about who knows what. Finally, get back to the room and proceed to spend way too much time on my nails, which I’d been growing for about 2 weeks. Needless to say I ended up way behind schedule and at 6:30 I am scrambling to get my outfit together (second picture).
The boots were my favorite shoes at the time, the skirt I bought the day before and the top is sleeveless. At the last moment I decide my arms are too muscled and hairy so I put on the jacket again. So, Seattle is supposed to be a cool and overcast city. However, this week they were having a once in 20 years heat wave. So, the 3 block walk to the movie theater was not just in broad daylight, but also under a sweltering sun. About a block into the walk I figure a cigarette will calm me down. Of course, I put on some crazy lip gloss before leaving and with my shaking hands, felt like the cigarette was smearing lip gloss all over my face and gave up after 3 drags.
I’m late so I’m trying to walk as fast as I can, but seem to be getting nowhere. Of course, it’s the heels, which I thought I was a pro at, but was totally unprepared for the unevenness of city sidewalks. Finally, get to the theater and the 18 year old girl taking tickets is so excited to see me – maybe the first time she has seen a dude in a skirt. In my haste out the door, I had thrown my dude wallet in my purse, which contained my admission ticket. Of course, having no experience with a purse, other than taking pictures with it, I am unable to find anything. Finally I find the ticket, get some wine and find a seat.
At this point I start thinking I might have misjudged this event. While everyone is clearly LGBT friendly, I am not seeing anyone else dressed the way I am, other than the girl on stage (she was phenomenal by the way). The other problem is the corset, which became very uncomfortable in those deep theater seats. The movie was good (I had actually never seen it before) but about 3/4 of the way through I decide I need to get out of here, cuz I don’t want to face this crowd on the way out. Before leaving I stop at the men’s room to check my makeup (maybe even pee before walking home). It’s unusually crowded and while taking a peek at my makeup, a guy just finishing with the urinal is heading to wash his hands, looks up at me, eyes get wide, and decides he’s okay with dirty hands. So, I skip the peeing and just head back to the room. The sun was down, the streets were quiet and the air was cool, so it was actually a rather enjoyable walk back.