breast forms

The Keystone Tango

| Apr 2, 2012
Spread the love

As I type this, it is Saturday afternoon at the 4th Annual Keystone Conference, held at the Beautiful Sheraton Harrisburg. I’ve been here since Wednesday and I can say this with absolute certainty:
I am BEAT!

Keystone at times is a marathon for me. There is so much to do! So many people to meet! So many friends with whom to catch up! Add to that the success of TGForum (Thank you so much for reading!) and I rarely have a down moment as people want to talk about things they have read.

Add to that the fact that while I’m here I tend to haunt the bar, and, well, this ol’ gal can only handle so much!

I arrived Wednesday and settled in. There was an official excursion, but I arrived too late to attend. There was a convention here already — for the attorney general’s office! That’s right — TG people and maybe 100 elite police officers. The officers were very friendly and respectful, and genuinely wanted to learn about us.

Thursday was a whirlwind of seminars, makeup and outfit changes. The lunch speaker was Dr. Cerise Richards. My own seminar was Thursday, and I had eleven attendees. There are no official numbers yet, but it appears that there are 150 more attendees this year. Figure there’s about 500 so far, with tonight being the biggest night. The conference definitely is taking up more room this year and the variety of seminars and experiences are staggering. Want to know about makeup? There’s a session by Amanda Richards. Biology of transgenderism? Coming out to your children? Ways for transmen to appear more masculine? Faith and trans issues? All here.

Thursday night was casino night. Most of us boarded buses to the Hollywood Casino for dining and fun. I enjoyed the looks we were getting. That said, several times people seemed genuinely interested in the “why” and “how” of being TG. I had a fun conversation with a couple of women in the ladies room!

There was also bingo back at the hotel and I was told it was a great success.

After returning, many of us relaxed (yeah right) in the Dog and Pony Bar. We as a group seem very attracted to bars. I wonder if we all do it to dull the pain? Speaking of pain — there was karaoke in the bar. I sang three times. Be afraid.

Friday was seminars, and Mara Kiesling of the National Center for Transgender Equality as lunch speaker. Friday night was restaurant night. We all boarded buses (and some lucky auction winners rode in a silver Rolls Royce) to four different downtown bars. Again, the looks of restaurant patrons as thirty TGs streamed through the door was priceless. After dinner, I returned to the hotel to listen to Namoli Brennet, who is an amazing singer songwriter. While in the bar, many more people arrived, filling the place with us and our allies. It was loud, fun, and oh so right.

And now it’s Saturday. Dr. Jamison Green gave the lunch address. My liver is begging for mercy. My feet are being autopsied as we speak. I am almost out of MAC foundation. Yet tonight is the capping event: the Gala. I have no idea if my dress for tonight even fits, but I can’t wait.

It’s now Sunday, and I’m home. The gala was quite a success. I arrived late but was able to eat and listened to an inspiring speech by Amanda Simpson, Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of the US Army (Acquisition, Logistics & Technology). My dress fit nicely, thanks for asking. Burning House was the band and many people danced. I spent most of the night in the bar, catching up with friends.

The conference is over. There are no more T-girls roaming the halls or laughing in the bar. Amanda Richards is no longer ensconced in room 522 making us beautiful. The hotel staff is probably vacuuming the glitter from the hallways and the bar staff are planning vacations with their tip money.

After four days among my fellow TG brothers and sisters, I dreaded going home: back to my drab grey existence. Keystone is many things. It is a large and well run conference, to be sure (thanks to Jeanine, Kristy and all of Trans-Central!) but it is also a dance. We as attendees float from partner to partner, together as one yet each with our own individual wants and needs. This dance is not a formal foxtrot or waltz. It is not as eclectic as street dance nor as disciplined as ballet. Keystone is a Tango: the dance of love. A dance of passion, of mystery and of romance. A wonder to behold and a joy to participate. And I? I had the rose in my teeth.

  • Yum

Spread the love

Tags: ,

Category: Product Review, Transgender Body & Soul, Transgender Community News

Sophie Lynne

About the Author ()

Comments (4)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. you are one awesome lady, girlfriend.

  2. victoria victoria says:

    I hope the staff are not mad at me, I didn’t know my dress would shed glitter so much!

  3. Francine Francine says:

    I really enjoyed my first Keystone last week. My high point was the keynote by Amanda Simpson, a very impressive and brave individual. I personally went up and thanked her at the end of the banquet. The session by Dr. Rachel Levine on hormones was the most informative presentation I’ve heard or read on that subject, and Caroline Temmermand’s “Making Your Transition Terrific” was a reassuring opportunity to hear from a woman who is a happily living her dream. I met lots of interesting people, of whom I will mention minister David Garrett, who was introduced to our community by his transgendered child. This was also, frankly, one of the best organized conferences I’ve ever been to on any topic. Definitely go next year if you can.

  4. says:

    Thank you for faithfully describing an event beyond description! Total immersion is what I call the Keystone; and you always leave a different, better person than the one you walked in as. You really hit on important points too. For example, the fact that there is nothing “forced”. You are free to wander about and take in as much as you want. It can quickly become overwhelming, but you can always take a breather. But most importantly, you meet so many new people, forge new relationships and reinforce old friendships. It just gets better and better each year. And for those who didn’t make it this year, it seems that the Keystone will be there for us next year and after. . .


breast forms