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A Day at Transgender 2009 — The Liberty Conference

| May 4, 2009
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Our newest TGF contributor Gina Vizavi heard about the Liberty Conference in Philadelphia and decided that she should go to check it out. Since it was her first time at a big event we asked her to do a report on the Conference. Here are her impressions from A Day at Transgender 2009 — The Liberty Conference.

Attending Angela’s parties at the Laptop Lounge has opened up a new world for me, and it has been exciting to meet people and socialize. So this year when I read about the Liberty Conference I was determined to go, and it proved to be a rewarding experience.

I could only make it for one day, and Thursday’s schedule looked promising. The prospect of walking around as Gina in broad daylight was exciting to say the least!

Stephanie Battaglio

Stephanie Battaglino

Stephanie Battaglino was the opening speaker. She transitioned on the job and talked about her journey, giving a very moving account of a friend who was there for her after her surgery. She emphasized the need to stay connected with people regardless of where we find ourselves and spoke to the “how can someone love us when we don’t love ourselves” theme. I really enjoyed her positive message as well as the comments by members of the audience afterward.

At the luncheon, I struck up a conversation with someone from New York. When she mentioned the Hudson River Valley, I was reminded of a book review of I had read online. Apparently there was this retreat up there, and back in the sixties a bunch of t-gurls would get together and spend the weekend living their dream as their alter-egos. A few years ago someone purchased a box of photographs at a flea market that included pictures of the gurls of Casa Susana and they published a book. You could have knocked me over with a feather when the person across the table from me replied, “I took most of those pictures.” Talk about connecting with history, or should I say, herstory!

After lunch I attended Alison Laing’s The Best of Both Worlds seminar which turned into quite an interesting discussion. As people talked about where they felt they were on the “gender spectrum,” one of the participants remarked, “It really gets fun in your eighties!” It wasn’t until after the session that I spoke to this person and found out they really were in their eighties! I tried to find out what it was like growing up transgender in the 1930s, but our conversation wandered and we ended up talking about other things.

The third session I attended was conducted by Dr. Maureen Osborne, a therapist well-known to the transgender community of the Philadelphia area and also a columnist for TGF. She started out by arranging the chairs in a circle which set the stage for Exploring the Lenses of Gender from a Transgender Perspective. Dr. Osborne really engaged the fairly large group and everyone participated, producing a lively discussion.

But I have to say the pinnacle of the day for me was a cruise and dinner on the Spirit of Philadelphia! It always seemed like a fun thing to do, but I never dreamed it would be Gina taking the cruise! We boarded a school bus for the short drive to the pier and off we went. It was glorious; dinner, dancing and a walk around the deck with my heels clicking and skirts billowing in the breeze!


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Category: Transgender Community News

Gina-Vizavi

About the Author ()

Part-time T-gurl who discovered Angelas Laptop Lounge a number of years ago and found a new means of self-expression giving a long neglected facet of her personality fresh air and sunshine! Enjoys meeting and socializing others exploring their own horizons.

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