Guest post by Caitlin
I attending The Tenth Annual Keystone Conference, "A Celebration of Gender Diversity," hosted by TransCentralPA in Pennsylvania's capital city of Harrisburg - What a busy, busy, week!
It was sooooo much fun, too! At least half the fun is seeing and catching up with old friends that you haven't seen for a whole year. It's fun to run into friends while you're checking in; and fun to run into friends when you are trying to get your overloaded luggage cart into an elevator and down the hall; and fun to run into more friends in the hallway while you are going to the bar to meet other friends! And why is it that it's so much fun? So enjoyable...because these wonderful people ARE JUST LIKE YOU! You are not alone! Joy, the best word I can find for the feeling, just bubbles up inside you and takes you over.
It is such a release to simply be you and yet be like so many others at the same time.
The last night (Saturday night) was the Keystone Conference Gala. The ballroom was as full as I've ever seen it. After a wonderful dinner and a short dinner speech by Carman Carrera (of RuPaul/Elite Model of the Year fame) the all-trans band, Wicked Jezebel, just rocked the house. Most everyone loves the band and seconds after they started the dance floor was filled.
In the middle of the floor I saw a beautiful little trans girl (8 or 9 years old) in a soft pink dress learning to dance with her mom. Almost every trans woman who noticed her signaled their encouragement. Soon the little girl was surrounded by beautiful trans women, all dancing to some great Motown song and everyone encouraging the little girl to lose herself in the music. I scanned the scene from left to right and all an observer could see was simply JOY. The music brought it out and it couldn't be kept in any longer. The beautiful little girl, now barefoot just like the older trans women surrounding her, was having the time of her life. Her mother stood by on the side, tears of joy streaming down her face in the realization that her daughter will never be alone in this world. She found her new, transgender family that night and it was going to be OK. I tear up myself just recalling the scene.