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Human Rights Campaign Dinner 2023

Yesterday, Jocelyn asked what is your favorite photograph of yourself. Here you go! My best work ever.

THIS was fun. I will never, ever look any better. I may look as good, but I nailed my look on this day. The photo below at left will be my avatar, my whatever, wherever. It IS me. The smirk, the lighting, the outfit, the makeup, all of it. Bingo! Me! It’s mic drop time…..Good night everybody!

Annually, I perform the function of chief greeter for the HRC’s big annual fundraiser. The Who’s Who of the Cleveland LGBT community are all there. August 26, 2023, bringing my A game!

I worked my oversized tail off all day prior. We had a storm blow through two days before. I worked off my hangover playing early morning pickleball and then the yardwork. I sawed off a decent sized tree limb on a willow in our backyard and the limb decided to whack me on the arm as it finally fell to the ground, creating an ugly mark. Makeup is a great thing, as no one saw it this evening. Raking, picking up branches and leaves, cleaning out the gutters, putting a gash in my arm, cutting the grass, I was exhausted to say the least. My energy level picked up once that dress was zipped into place.

Now, I understand that I was among a very accepting crowd. And everyone was dressed to the nines. But the compliments I got were head swelling. I greeted guests as they got off the elevator to register and get into the event. I had awesome interactions with each and every one of the few hundred people that attended. That human connection, that is my crack, my addiction.

As you can see, I wore my contacts and once I got to the event. Once on-site they decided to render me practically blind. Contacts for me are literally hit or miss. And when they miss, it is not pleasant. I blindly greeted many of the guests and as you will see in the last few photos, had to go with the glasses.

I don’t have a lot of stories. I saw so many people I know. I made a few new friends. I hustled a woman by making a sucker’s bet with her. We talked for a while and then she made a comment about being old. I bet her a drink that I was older than she was. Of course, I won! And of course, I enjoyed the Pinot Grigio (yes, I collected on the bet)!

This dress was a recent pickup at the David’s Bridal liquidation sale. I simply enjoyed my experience all evening. Getting ready (my wife zipped me into the dress). Driving there, valeting the car, just being very favorably noticed.

The photo at left is me and Cleveland’s boy mayor. Yes, he is as young as he looks. Good guy. Our first Mayor who can string a sentence together in probably over a decade.

The picture at right is me and Connie Schultz, Pulitzer Award winning columnist and the wife of Senator Sherrod Brown, whom I also met. She asked if I wanted a picture with Sherrod and I told her I came over to chat with her. I have met her twice and both times she acted like we had known each other all of our lives. Now I get that she is a politician’s wife, but she is very down-to-Earth.

I left a bit early as I was tiring and the thought of waiting for the valet to get my car with everyone else was not what I wanted to wait through. I am a VERY lucky woman!


16 Responses

  1. Kandi,
    You look stupendous. Your favourite photo shows how fabulous you look.

    BUT, what I think is even better about you is your sacrificial life, giving so much of your time to great charities and special events.

    Your legacy is how much you have supported and helped so many people. The world is so much better because of what you do, not how you look.

    You truly are beautiful, inside and out.


  2. Good morning Kandi,
    I must say that I totally agree with Jocelyn, especially her last paragraph. You have helped so many people including me.
    I am so thankful that I am able to call you friend. I think the high point of Trish’s journey will be the day we meet face to face.


  3. Absolutely fabulous dress and look my dear.
    You truly know how to put it all together
    I’m sure that was a great evening being among those who do support those of us in the trans community and you are a great ambassador of that
    Love ya Rachael

  4. Kandi, you are absolutely gorgeous in that dress! And while the smirk is your signature, my favorite picture is the one at the top of the stairs (not against the rail).

    This is the type of event that is on my bucket list. To be able to dress to the nines and sashay into a room filled with people who love and accept us all would be so special and fulfilling for me. HRC New England has a dinner too, so I have something to look forward to.

      1. You should have a competition for the best pun, Kandi.

        You could give a bottle of Punot Grigio as first prize.

        Great outfit by the way!

  5. Kandi,
    I find it important to read every word of yours as there’s always something very poignant in your ” one liners “.” The human connection , that is my crack, my addiction “. How some people can live in isolation not making that wonderful human contact ? It’s what makes the world go round and yet some can’t or chose not to see it but saying that I have to take care it’s not my downfall . On the whole I feel it’s just me being normal but I know I’m stretching my borders at times or am I being over sensitive ? A good person is accepted by the majority , some of their little foibles can be overlooked as I’m sure you’re aware .

    By the way it is a lovely outfit and deserved the comments but those type of events are very rare in my communtiy , just this week I attended a concert given by the choir of St. John’s College , Cambridge at my local church ( part of their European tour ). These guys dressed and looked the part , I thought it was the ideal opportunity to wear some a little special , in the end I chickened out and wore a nice sequined skirt and top and even then I was one of the best dressed there . Come on GIRLS , get your glad rags on MORE !!!

    1. I especially appreciate you “get” my one-liners. When I am writing these posts, I do feel like I am on stage, painting a performance of some kind. Appreciate that Teresa!

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