A few months back (now a few years back), I spent some time chatting with the wonderful pastor from my (then) part-time church. He pointed out that when I am in the church, I am noticed. The light bulb went on. Yes, in almost every situation, in almost room or venue I walk into, I am noticed. This pleases me.
I have to be honest with myself, there aren’t many out in public like me. I am tall (for a woman), I don’t shrink from being seen, I speak in my normal voice, I make no apologies for who I am. My style and manner of dress makes me stand out (in a good way). I am also generally lit up with a big smile. That smile, buried for years and years under the worst porn mustache (no longer even possible) you can imagine, is a gift. Most people do not have the opportunity to meet and/or know someone like myself. Any hesitancy is immediately diffused with that smile. Somehow I put others at ease and then they realize, I am simply a nice person. Unique, sure. Different, yes. Worth talking to, absolutely!
Knowing all of this has made a difference. It has amped up my level of confidence. I literally feel no different walking into somewhere in a dress or as myself. Actually, I feel even better in that dress because I am not a JAG (“just a guy”) in that dress. Otherwise, I am absolutely that JAG. A JAG few notice. A nice person, but nothing special. I take this gift seriously and make sure that those that see me are treated with warmth and respect. I gladly answer questions about myself.
So I now enter my sixth (now eighth) year being out and about as Kandi. Things have evolved, I have changed. I look at pictures and see my improved make up skills, my improved ability to assemble an outfit. I will continue look to make my life fuller and continue to help others, because I am indeed, noticed.