Keystone and Silence

| Mar 14, 2016
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The 8th Annual Keystone Conference was held, as always, at the Sheraton Harrisburg/ Hershey hotel, this past week. Attendance seemed up, but I have no official figures at press time.

Speakers included trans advocate Brynn Tannehill; Pulitzer Prize winner Amy Nutt; Mara Keisling, director of the National Center for Transgender Equality; and Sarah McBride of the Center for American Progress.

Mara Keisling

Mara Keisling

Mara Keisling had the line of the conference when she said “If we’re in the bathroom and you know what my genitals are, then I’m not the one doing something wrong.”

During the Saturday lunch, I was seated next to an elderly woman. We started talking. She is a World War II veteran who fought in Patton’s Third Army. She was also a Nascar driver and a pilot. She also has Klinefelter’s Syndrome (that’s an XXY chromosome pattern.) She had a scrapbook with her, which she generously shared with me.

She went through life as a Man, and, despite most XXY’s being infertile; she managed to father a child. She would effortlessly pass as a woman when she wished, and had the pictures to prove it. Her beloved wife knew all about her.

She looked me in the eye and said “Back when I was in my prime, in the 40s and 50s, we didn’t talk about this. We kept our mouths shut. If we didn’t, they’d take us away. So we kept quiet about it. Now, thanks to conferences like this, we no longer have to be silent.”

I wanted to cry.

Sarah McBride

Sarah McBride

The Keystone Conference has seminars, entertainment, programs for spouses… it’s simply amazing. But this Heroine… she is what it’s all about. And all those like her. All of us that must remain silent: be it for family reasons, work… whatever.

A TG conference is about Immersion. For several days in a row, a person who hides their true self can be gloriously Free.

There are some women here who, though they only get out occasionally, put 99% of GGs to shame. I’m full time, and I could never look as good.

But on Sunday, for so many, it’s over. They go back to their drab lives with pictures and memories. And, for some, that is plenty.

But for others, after several days of Truth, it is akin to a death sentence. I was among them at one time.

I, like so many others, sacrificed so much to live our Truth. And one of the times that it’s worth the most… is a Conference Sunday.

And that is what Today is. Sunday, March 13, 2016. A rainy gray day.


Congratulations to the volunteers of Trans Central PA, all of them, for putting on a magnificent conference!

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Category: Transgender Body & Soul, Transgender Community News

Sophie Lynne

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  1. Sophie: Great summery! Thanks for posting this. Keystone attracted almost 700 registrants. A record attendance! One is always surrounded by hundreds of their best friends! Loved “Wicked Jezebel”, the bad that played Saturday night. See you next year! Love, Michelle “The Tall” Popkov