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The Stereotypical CD Hotel Photoshoot

Might be my best possible evening.

April 19, 2024….another fashion show where I get the absolute privilege of herding the cats and helping make magic happen! But first, the backstory.

This weekend the angel known as my wife is hosting a bridal shower for our daughter. She worked tirelessly on it for months. She obsessed about it, she took great joy in it, it lifted her, it filled her, it made her so happy. That meant our daughters came home. For me, life continued. One of the shittiest things I had to do was cancel on the annual volunteer appreciation dinner at The Cleveland Museum of Art on this weekend. It is the last such event for a dear friend, the museum’s volunteer coordinator, who many years ago, allowed this shit show of a human being to become what evolved into an integral part of the museum. She is retiring and I had promised her I would speak at the event as a testimonial to her. Yes, I suck… It did pain me to let her know I would not be there, but I cannot be in two places at one time. The fashion show is indeed my crack and I fear (in my head, probably not in reality) that if I do not do my job, I will be replaced. Toni is also a dear friend (it’s her show). The people in my life that have allowed me so many amazing opportunities are many. What did I do to deserve so many blessings? Nothing, beyond my big yap.

Everything happening all at once. Kids home. Fashion show. I booked a hotel room close by simply for the need to get dressed, work the show and get cleaned up and go home. Do our daughters “know”? Yes. Do I want to let them see me dressed? Absolutely not. Do we discuss it? Nope. Would I do so? Certainly, if asked. That is all on me, wanting to keep Dad as Dad. Since I live in the two specters of my genders by choice, why fuck up a good thing? No one said life was easy. My circumstances, my choices, my life.

I was able to check in early and I get a text. Our neurotic daughter saw a bee in the house. So I ran back home (only a few miles away), walked in the house, got rid of the bee and returned to my hotel room. Before I headed to work (I do get paid), I did the stereotypical CD hotel photo shoot.

So here we are, fashion show and then a full weekend being a supportive husband, a father, a new in-law (soon) to my daughter’s fiancée.

All I can say is this evening was amazing. I worked the fashion show. I was a part of the event. I met new models. I was completely accepted into what was 100% a mainstream gathering. Me, being the only “one” in the room, me being out and proud. Me, being valued for who I am. All the models consider me as one of them. Many times I was called “girlfriend”. Hugs. Patrons making me feel special. Drinks purchased for me. The whole evening, probably six hours, was so great. I am so connected to the staff at the boutique I work for, the graceful owner, the models, the ladies there to watch us, the choreographer…..

So, the highlight of the evening. I was sketched, which you see opening the post and which you will see on the blog, all day, every day. That sketch was someone taking the absolute essence of my soul and putting it on paper.

The event was a Kentucky Derby theme. So here we are, playing along, also with the amazing artist that sketched me.

If you get to do this once, you are extremely fortunate. Me….all the time. Big mouth, no fear, understanding how reality works, putting myself out there, being undeniably me. Really ladies (Dee, Gwen, LP, ladies back me up here), this is easy if you do it right (smart, appropriate, confident, visible).


11 Responses

  1. Kandi,
    No you can’t be in two places at the same time , as a self employed photographer I know first hand the customer always came first , family came second , someone had to earn the bread but it does suck big time at times .

    OK the perennial question do we tell family or not ? Will it destroy or enhance our relationship and standing as a father ?

    My daughter caught me ironing a dress ( while in male mode ) that she knew didn’t belong to my wife so I came clean and told all . That was the best day of my life as she has proved totally supportive , we go out shopping and other events , I usually spend Xmas day with her and her husband and mother in law . My son was told when we decided to separate , he drops in for coffee but there’s still a bridge to cross with his sons , I’m sure we’ll get there ( yes I do miss them as I see them about twice a year as grandpa ) The debate goes on about who’s right and who’s wrong with this situation , they know it’s not going to change now after six years especially after my official name change .

    We really can’t beat ourselves up over our needs and feelings , we also need to be true to ourselves and be US , if other people realise our conviction they will respect us for it . When we debate the difference between a CDer and a transgender person it often comes down to that .

    That drawing is lovely , might make a great logo for your clothing line .
    When my painting group was struggling for a live model , I offered to sit for them ( no not nude !!) , I wanted to challenge them by wearing a long sweeping gown but sadly COVID came along and it would have been very lonely sitting by myself on the posing stool !

  2. Kandi,
    I just love the sketch of you. What an honour for you. It looks fabulous.

    Having the sketch is a lot better than having a photo. The artist drawing the picture captured your soul and put it on paper.

    OMG, I am so happy for you.


  3. Kandi,
    You look amazing, love the hat! The picture of you is such a heartfelt gesture and depicts your real essence ❤️. I know there’s always “things” in the way about going out while dressed but if you allow yourself to be you it does become easy!


  4. Isn’t our web mistress amazing, everyone? Kandi exemplifies grace and beauty.

    She is absolutely right about putting yourself out there. I think people want to accept you as you present. Their basic position is that they want to see us as we want to be seen. In that sense, we undermine ourselves when we are nervous or act like we don’t belong. At that point, people question their own assumptions.

    Please go out and enjoy yourself, ladies! you will find a big beautiful world full of the kind of people that Kandi and Dee and others have mentioned on this website. Wake up tomorrow and ask yourself, what new opportunities await the real me? Step out; find out!


  5. Did you pick the winner?

    (Oh, that’s right, the race isn’t until next month).

    However, I will bet you may have had a mint julip….or two…

    I don’t think any of us need to back you up. The pictures of your many interactions speak for themselves, the proverbial thousand words.

    This past Sun-Dee I wrote about my bucket list of things I had done. Many were just dreams when I was unable to get past my fear of going out. But NEVER on my list of possibilities was interacting with others and making friends.


    But, if you allow yourself the possibility, it can happen, and it did for me. But it’s up to those reading our tales to make it happen for themselves.

    P.S. Love the hat

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