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A Night To Shine! 2024

Food for the soul.

February 9, 2024 my second time participating in this fabulous event!

My role again was one as a “buddy”. I sat at a table with three other lovely ladies, there also as buddies. Two of them were rookies, so it was really nice to see them experience this event. If you ever want to feel sorry for yourself, come work this event once. You will gain a perspective on what life really is all about.

We had four gentlemen, all with differing abilities. All so grateful for the evening, all enjoying every second of it. Byron and I hung together the entire evening. Byron was probably in his forties, was able to but had difficulty walking. He also was a bit difficult to understand when speaking, but I picked up on what he wanted. We had dinner. I made sure he had pop and was enjoying his meal. We then danced, I took him to the restroom frequently (waiting outside for him), danced some more, took a limo ride, got his picture taken and took in the end-of-the evening balloon drop. It was about three hours and they flew by.

I saw a few folks I remembered from last year and was simply happy myself all evening.

One quick story on the limo ride (it was a party bus). One of our honored guests, a young lady, probably in her twenties was, shall we say, curious about me. She asked a few questions, all prefaced with “I don’t want to offend you” (which she also said to others when asking questions). Then came the question I expected “Are you a woman?”, to which I said I was. She was very complimentary and specific in her compliments (she loved my earrings and necklace, for example) and I explained to her we cannot learn things without asking. Frankly, I am surprised I do not get that question more often at this event, as many of our guests are without a filter.

We had over 200 guests and about 300 volunteers. Great night for me! It closed with many hugs and my sincere gratitude for being allowed to do this. I have no photos of the actual event for privacy reasons.

It’s an honor to wear that shirt!


6 Responses

  1. Kandi,
    What a great evening for you. I’m sure you and everyone else in attendance had a wonderful time.

    For events like that, the volunteers initially think that they will be the ones who will be “giving”. But as it turns out, the volunteers will “receive” so much more than what they give. Love and friendship are very powerful.

    You are a fabulous person for doing that. Well done.

    I agree with your friend about the earrings and necklace.


  2. Kandi,
    I need to get back into doing more charity work , it really is so much fun , I love fund raising as you know it’s going to help people less able than yourself .
    It’s so easy to assume someone with a disability is totally incapable , as an artist I appreciate just how capable they can be when given the time and opportunity . Who knows we could need the same help one day .

    How to deal with the ” are you a woman ?” question . Perhaps she shouldn’t have asked the question at all but the fact is she did and she accepted your answer , would it have much difference if you admitted you were a man ? Thankfully I’ve not been asked in six years , I’m not sure how I would react .

    I had an interesting conversation with my TS friend at the weekend , she admitted feeling slightly guilty with a GG friend she has coffee with . I was slightly surprised by her comment but added that the GG friend was obviously happy to have her as a friend so why question it .

  3. Kandi,

    You are special, no doubt about it. More importantly, you remind everyone around you that they are special too.

    You have to love children and special needs folks who have no filters! The question she asked is both simple and profound. You answered honestly. I know; I have met and enjoyed girl time with you. Some of us, however, do not identify as women. They might say they aes only CD, or are on stage (ie acting) when they present as women, or that they are”feminine men.” We are a diverse bunch! But I wonder how they would they have answered. I would like to hear from them, if they are willing to comment.

    As you know, I have said before that I plan to be honest. If someone ever asks, “are you a transgender woman?” I will answer in the affirmative. It is completely honest, however to answer the simpler question of “are you a woman?” affirmatively and without further discussion. because that is most definitely how I identify. Of course, the questioner may be implying the broader question “were you assigned female at birth,” but we all know that doesn’t make you a woman and I don’t they I am required to guess what they really mean.

    Keep being beautiful. You are an inspiration!


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