Amanda Reports on Keystone 2019

| Mar 25, 2019
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After 6 years I finally made it back to Keystone. Now that I am here on the East Coast, it was just a short drive up to Harrisburg from Baltimore. I couldn’t wait to see my friends. 

I arrived on Friday night. I wanted to stay with fellow TGForum writer Sophie Lynne but I forgot a medication and had to go home then back later in the evening. I would be able to stay in her room Saturday night into Sunday though.

I arrived at about 11:30 p.m. The first thing I saw was a tribute to Jeanine Rusham, who tragically passed away very recently. She was heavily involved with The Keystone Conference with Kristy Snow and others. Her passing cast a pall over the event, but did not seem to dampen the enthusiasm of the conference goers. 

Sophie and Amanda.

The Dog & Pony bar and lounge was hopping with girls returning from the usual night out on the town that is customary. This gets girls out into the community and lets them feel good about being out and about. The conference is usually heavy on the “part-time” or “weekend girls” crowd, but there are a decent amount of full time trans girls too. I spent Friday just milling around seeing whoever I could and taking photos. There was some dancing in a separate ballroom with music provided by a DJ.

Since I stupidly forgot my med, I had to go back home about 1:30 a.m. It was a nice drive and only 1 hr. 18 min. No big deal to me. I’ve driven thousands of hours. I wished I could have stayed and gotten up earlier. Miss Procrastination, that’s me. I still needed to get a good night’s sleep and it’s a good thing I did. 

Saturday, I got a late start. I arrived at about 6 p.m. I met Sophie in her room as well as the famous Donna Rose, author of Wrapped In Blue, her trans autobiography. I was surprised to see her. We all made our way to dinner. There were girls milling about and slowly making their way into the dinner hall. 

The dresses were very spectacular. It was like Trans Oscar Night. Sequins, sparkles, fringe, incredible color, bows, straps, heels . . . oh the heels. It was a Gala, no doubt. It was really incredible to be among so many people like me. The Saturday turnout was really big. Nary a seat was left in the hall for dinner. Everyone was in a good mood it seemed. 

Earlier in the day there was a lunchtime tribute to Jeanine. I’m sorry I missed that. I do love the luncheons. My attendance was hastily planned. Next year, I will be actually plan. 

So, much uneaten cake.

Dinner was good. I had the Chicken Wellington and 2 and 3/4 pieces of cake. So many people didn’t eat their cake. What a shame.

The speaker was a former Conservative Christian Mom from Texas who has a trans child. She spoke about how she tried to institute conversion therapy to try to make her child conform. She was instructed to beat her trans daughter if she wore girl’s clothing or did anything feminine. It was very sad.

But, thankfully she came to her scientific senses and started to do research. She stopped beating her child and started to let her child be who she was. She said that being a Christian and trans is not an oxymoron, but being Christian and a bigot is. She never liked President Obama, but when he said, “We see you,” to trans people, that changed her view. She now is an advocate and speaks about her story to people all over. It’s a bittersweet story, but thankfully, it is sweet now. 

Joanne Carrol, another tireless advocate and Keystone supporter, spoke as well. She was so glad to see me. She nearly knocked people out of the way to hug me. It was great. She was so happy to see me back here in the East and at Keystone. 

Wicked Jezebel performed.

The rest of the night was about music, dancing, and more mingling. Some girls went to change dresses or outfits. I saw two Hooters girls, an electric dress, a gorgeous Aqua blue dress, lighted bunny ears, and a vast array of styles and fashions. It was truly a festive event. Fun was had by all. I was sorry to leave, but there’s always next year. Hope to see you there!

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Category: Transgender Community News


About the Author ()

I am a transwoman originally from Pittsburgh, PA. I have been living full time for 5 years. I work in retail but am an artist/Graphic Designer and aspiring writer. I tend to address the controversial in my writing. I would love to change the world one article at a time. I moved to The San Francisco Bay Area to start over, again. But recently moved back to the East Coast. The adventure continues...

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