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Cleveland International Film Festival – Day Three

There are no words for this one....

There are days and there are days! March 31, 2022 was a wonderful, surprising day!

I reported for work at around 10:00. This was the first day of the festival. We did a bit more setting up and I eventually took my post in the State Theatre. I wanted to work there because it is the biggest and looked to be the busiest that morning. Well, that didn’t turn out to be the case, but I still had so many memorable moments.

One of the Red Coats (the volunteer ushers) came over to say hello. We was using his walker and proceeded to tell us he would be retiring in two years, when he turns 100! He drove there! He talked about taking a two cent subway ride during high school down to see shows there. He showed me pictures on his smart phone!! Poor guy grew up with no brothers and ten sisters! God bless him!

This wonderful human being is my friend and the person who got me this job! Beth is simply wonderful.

I was walking through the concourse (I got many pleasant comments and compliments) and a woman came up to me and asked if I worked at the art museum. Then she jogged my memory, she and I are from the same town. We recently had a lengthy conversation when I was on duty. Long story short, another friendship looks to be beginning.

Then I met such a beautiful soul, Barbara. We were friends instantly. She has a couple of trans connections with some people and we bonded immediately. We could not stop talking to each other.

At this point, Barbara and I had known each other for maybe half an hour.

My shift ends and I head next door to have a cocktail before heading home. I am basically alone, one Manhattan in, when a group walks in and sits a few seats down. Almost immediately, once they got settled, I am told that I am very well put together. That always make me happy because that is exactly what I pride myself on. Paige is an LA based director ( at the festival for the premier of her short film, “Powers“. I was so looking forward to going home and relaxing, but I have now been invited to the premier by the director as well as the star of the film. Gotta do that, right?

I have four hours…….I drive home, stop for gas, stop at Taco Bell, eat while driving the rest of the way home. Grab the mail. Quickly make my wife a salad for dinner. Apologize profusely for being a terrible husband via text (her replay was to tell me to have fun and “do whatever it takes”, my response “I do have my limits”).

Grab a dress, shoes and necklace. Undress, touch-up and step up my makeup. Get dressed, take a few photos and head back. I walk in with an hour to spare, which allows for one more Manhattan and some more to eat. While I walk through the festival, I am noticed for returning.

I get into my seat and chat up another film maker. Watch six short films, Powers being one of them. I will not explain the film here, but PLEASE check out the web site above and find the film and watch it. If you are a fan of this blog, I can assure, you will love the movie! It was shot during the pandemic on an iPhone.

They then have a Q&A with one other directors, Paige and Lori, the film’s star. After the Q&A, Paige thanks on mic….ME! Wow! Then Paige, not me, suggests we get some photos after which we had such a touching discussion about pronouns, etc.

It gets better! I am then invited to the film makers after party. I spend even more time talking with Lori. I reconnect with the film maker I chatted with while waiting for the films to start. I have another very lengthy conversation with yet another film makers whose film debuts Sunday morning (guess where I will be?) and her associate. During this chat, someone walks up to me (I do have witnesses) and hands me a faux rose and tells me I am beautiful. Oh, my. I then continue that conversation, promise I will make the Sunday premier (despite dying to do nothing Sunday and made her agree to take photos with me, which she did!). Then another long conversations with Paige and Lori. I was literally treated like a member of her inner circle that day. Then Cinderella had to head home at midnight.

There are days and there are days…..


6 Responses

  1. Hi Kandi, Your experiences at the Cleveland International Film Festival, so well presented in this morning’s blog post, are absolutely fabulous, wonderful, and inspiring. Wow! Your dedication to creating an exciting and rewarding real world in which Kandi is a generous, capable, entertaining, and attractive woman is nothing short of awesome. Your entire self presentation is so good, so elegant, so well designed and put together. You look so at ease and so good. Keep on rocking in a free world! Best, Marissa in Ohio

    1. Marissa,

      It’s not been often in my life where things have worked out exactly as I would have hoped. Our marriage has far exceed my expectations, as have our children, not without worry and issues, but we are truly blessed. But who I envisioned Kandi to be, what I had hoped she would represent in the world, it’s happening! So, sweet comments like this one provide me with affirmation and I feel the love from our little community here. Thank you my friend!


      1. Kandi, your ability to attract and make friends must be like a superpower. It must be the million dollar smile. I completely agree with everyone’s assessment of you in this story. You are very well put together and beautiful. You continue to inspire me. I want so much to be that kind of woman.

        Love, Liz

  2. Amazing just amazing what you are doing and all by just being you and you so amazing and yes beautiful while doing so.
    You represent the trans community so well
    I’m proud your my friend m
    Love ya Rachael

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