Such Strange Goings On! Henri David 2012

| Nov 5, 2012
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Sophie dressed as a Vampire


The 44th Annual Henri David Ball was held on Halloween night at the Sheraton City Center, 17th and Vine Sts in Philadelphia, PA. The festivities officially began at 9 PM, and tickets were $25 for those in costume. Philly Chit Chat called it “a must attend on anyone’s bucket list as much as the Castro Halloween Party, Greenwich Village Halloween Parade or Key West’s Fantasy Fest.”

Those are the facts of the case and they are not in dispute.

The night was windy and clouds drifted past the full moon. The Spirits were watching as So Many gathered to meet, greet, gawk, squawk, and otherwise indulge their fantasies on this night- the night when the Barriers between the real and the unreal fall and All is possible. And sometimes even forgiven. As the Doctor said — “Don’t Dream it — be it!”

This was my third Henri David Ball. I noticed that it didn’t seem that crowded this year. Go figure — we just had a Hurricane rip through here and so many are still without power or even homes.

That said, the people that were there were extremely enthusiastic and had a blast.

Yip Yips

Yip Yips!

As always, the party really began in the bar beforehand. People enjoyed drinks and watched as revelers entered the hotel. There was even a group of eight redneck looking guys sitting at a table watching all the people around them. Some “civilians” took pictures and even videos. Exelon was having some form of business meeting in the hotel, and their representative sat behind a table in the lobby that had a small, professionally conservative sign on it. The people behind the table were smartly dressed and looked like they wished they were somewhere else.

I attended dressed in a red Vampire gown — low cut and leggy. I was far from the most scandalous there. In fact, I fit right in except for one little thing — I wasn’t drinking. See, this was a Hotel. People booked rooms so they wouldn’t have to drive. No driving meant lots of drinking. The bartenders were quite happy with this arraignment.

There were so many great costumes! My favorites were three women who came dressed as the “Yip Yips” from Sesame Street. Amazing work!


Needs cover-up

There was one woman who looked like her skin had been ripped off most of her body (I know of what I speak.) I told her she needed some cover-up, and she said she left it in her other purse. She won “Most Horrifying.”

One guy came as a Voting machine, which was clever. A group of people came dressed as Cows holding signs indicating their alternate lifestyles and their disagreement with Chik-fil-A.

Barely clad muscle men danced on platforms to pulsing music as partiers fell over each other to stuff dollars into the dancer’s g-strings.

As always, the party was not just in the ballroom, nor was it just at the bar. It spread throughout the hotel. Costumed revelers were on all levels, and there were many “room parties” among friends. And strangers. And no one is Stranger than the people at this wonderful gathering!

Promptly at midnight, the “promenade” began, introduced and emceed by Henri David. As always, it opened with a professional drag queen doing a song. This year it was the amazing Tina Montgomery doing a Patti Labelle song. Then the introduction of the judges, then the promenade began!


Clever Cows

As usual, the “Female impersonators” were near last. I entered and had fun doing my turn on the catwalk. On the catwalk! As always, a couple Pros won the two “female” categories: “Most beautiful” and “Most realistic.” In fact, to think of it- it’s always the same two pros. But that’s ok. I didn’t have a prayer. There were so many Gorgeous women who would’ve won before me. Especially this amazing cute Asian girl who I’m told is named “Jen R.” Not that I’m jealous. Meow.

Halloween was my fourth “birthday” as Sophie, and I am reminded how much there is yet to go, and how much I have to learn. Fortunately, I have friends to help, and many of them were there celebrating the night in costumes and gowns.

The party wound down in the ballroom and the bar as the hour leapt past two. Many partiers retired upstairs to the various room parties, be they loud or intimate. Others, like me, had to go home. I scrubbed off my makeup, changed, and drove home through the moonlit night.

Behind me, Spirits and Ghosts continued their annual journey. Next year, the barriers will fall again. And once again, so many of us will answer the call to Celebrate. Celebrate the Harvest, celebrate Spirit, celebrate the ties that make us a Community and celebrate those who, like me, found their courage on Halloween to finally become their True Selves.

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Category: Transgender Fun & Entertainment

Sophie Lynne

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