Yay! It is Keystone Conference time, a short period in March of each year in which I am able to freely express myself as Alexandra in public, albeit in a safe environment.
As of this post, two days have passed and one remains. I have caught up a bit with my good friends and met new people. Each one is so kind and gracious, accomplished and fascinating. Conversations have been so fulfilling and inspiring, recharging my “Alex batteries,” which I am afraid to say has a had a recent tendency to deplete sooner than in times past.
Though I work in an exciting field I enjoy very much, the people I associate with professionally are not as interesting as those I meet at Keystone and similar events. Those who attend Keystone share a common bond, one that runs deep into our loins. It is not the same sort of thing as having a shared interest in a hobby or ideology or religion. It runs much deeper because we willingly expose a delicate part of our psyche to each other, a part many of us do not share with others, even those we care for very much. This exposure represents a vulnerability. This vulnerability can be exploited easily by those who are ignorant or malicious, but among like-minded people it creates an opening to reinforce a communal identity capable of countering millennia of toxic masculinity.
Crossdressing enables me to temporarily lower walls and explore beyond the sexual genesis of my impulse to mimic feminine characteristics. It has allowed me to journey from a primal source of shame to an exhilarating form of pride and joy. The people I have met and the friends I have made along this journey have empowered me to be more understanding of others who struggle with similar challenges imposed by draconian social norms.
I am a white male. I was born with an advantage and understand this now better than ever. Crossdressing has equalized my relationship in society because it is a behavior that marginalizes me. Though I am protected by laws already in place, I am not free to express my desire to dress as a woman without potentially severe consequences at work, with friends, and above all, with family. I can change this condition and risk these critical relationships, but the truth is I am not courageous enough to do so and, perhaps in an attempt to rationalize my fear, have judged the cost to be much greater than the benefit. I’m also not a social activist or leader of a cause. My burden is mine alone, but it is incredibly inspiring and humbling to know I am far from being alone.
I’m thankful to my good friend and endless source of inspiration Cristy Garcia for this wonderful photo of me taken at The Circular restaurant located in The Hotel Hershey.
- Dress: Rabbit
- Shoes: Katy Perry
- Hosiery: Cecilia de Rafael
Editorial comment: I will never be articulate enough to tell you how much I love, yes, love, many of the friends I saw at Keystone. I have sayings to demonstrate how much I may care for someone. I would take a bullet, I would give a kidney, for many of these amazing human beings. Alex, Cristy, Nora, Gina, Sammy, Johnna and many others, you are spectacular human beings and never in my life did I think I would be able to call such high quality people “friend”. Alex’s special power is an intellectual, yet whimsical, look at our lives, our little hobby, If you have one person in your life like Alex, you are indeed blessed. I have quite a few (as well as those of you that could not make the trek, you know who you are).