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Experiences: The Cleveland International Film Festival 2023 – Days One and Two

The shift from Keystone to CIFF in a long stretch of days dressed.

March 26, 2023, the day after Keystone. I went to bed well after midnight, early this morning. I wanted to get up and going early, so I offered to take Cristy and Jeni to the airport, leaving at 4:30. So not much sleep, then I had to haul all my stuff to the car. We took off and I dropped them at the airport and off I went. I was in some form of hybrid mold, not caring a bit about my appearance. My five hour drive took about seven as I wisely stopped three times to nap. I knew I had to work CIFF, but thought I started at 4:00PM. I double checked and discovered I had to be there at 3:00. So I had about two hours to get the car empty, find the necessities and get dressed again.

It was a beautiful sunny day, so I grabbed a summer dress and got ready and headed to work. The day was fairly uneventful with the exception of one experience.

Playhouse Square hosted CIFF. I work for the Annual Campaign (fundraising), processing donations. I hadn’t eaten all day (remember, I am pretty tired, I won’t say hungover, but…). I took a break to get some food.

There are 11 theaters, we were using three of them. I walk out the front door of one, down the street and stopped for sushi. I ordered takeout, waiting maybe five minutes, then I go back to work. A few minutes after I returned, a young lady walks in and starts to ask a question of my associate, then she sees me.

She tells me she and a friend were in another restaurant and saw me walk past. She tracked me down and said she loves summer dresses and to tell me that I was beautiful (I do have a witness who said she would sign an affidavit)! I felt ten miles high! We chatted a bit and of course, I gave her a big hug. Wow….

Day Two, March 27, 2023, I had the opening shift.

Monday at the film festival is a bit slow, so I don’t have much of a story. I got a handful of compliments on my sweater and it allowed for some sweet conversations about my appearance. I told someone that I feel an obligation to present myself well because I may be the only trans person someone interacts with and I want that experience to be a good one. I loved this sweater and my whole look this day.

Since it was slow, I had the run of the theater, so I took advantage with the obligatory photo shoot.

I’m not going to lie, I enjoy both working as a woman and being around the creative people the festival attracts.


5 Responses

  1. Love the summer dress my dear so I understand the complements
    Can never go wrong with a cute sweater either for those cool spring mornings
    My what a day too of travel and working I’m tired just thinking of such a day
    Hugs Rachael

  2. Adding to the previous comments, it seems worth noting your amazing awareness. Surely there are as many misconceptions about us as trans people are there are varieties of trans people. “Good on you,” for insuring they get a positive impression, Kandi. I can’t imagine a better role model or spokes person!

    1. I know we live in a world where our trans sisters and brothers face challenges, I simply refuse to buckle to fear.

      By basking in my joy, so far, I have yet to have any issues. Thanks my dear!!

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